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Abunimah and Blumenthal’s freedom ride

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Blumenthal and Abunimah at Vassar April 30

Blumenthal and Abunimah, with Abunimah’s book, at Vassar April 30

For weeks now I’ve been hearing about Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal’s joint appearances and though it was one of the rainiest days ever in New York last Wednesday I drove up to Vassar College to hear them talk. Everything about the day was dreary. The hall they were to speak in has the air of a medieval battlement and the room itself was dingy and poorly lit and clotted with humidity. After twenty minutes of us sitting jammed in among coats, someone announced that our speakers were running late because of accidents on the road. I counted seven rows of 14 seats. All the seats were filled, and there were maybe a half dozen non-students in the hall, most of them Hudson Valley socialists. This dismayed me. One of the claims during the recent outburst at Vassar over a school-sponsored trip to Israel and Palestine was that school officials believe in dialogue about Palestinian conditions. Well, here was an evening of Palestinian solidarity and it didn’t look as if anyone was there from the faculty who’d supported that trip, nor from the pro-Israel forces who’d come out to support them. And the sponsors of the event did not include Vassar’s new Open Hillel, the Vassar Jewish Union. Again, a disappointment.

The two speakers got there a half hour late and soggy, and walked in to no cheers or applause. In the wider movement, Abunimah and Blumenthal are rock stars. But there wasn’t a scintilla of entertainment about this gathering. No, a serious mood characterized the night. The two writers were there on serious business, not just to sell books, they were riding the roads to talk about a political movement in which everyone in the room was a participant. That sense of equality and partnership infused the proceedings. And p.s. about half the audience were people of color.

The two men’s styles could not be more different. Blumenthal has a hortatory and biting manner like a blue-eyed union man in a Steinbeck novel. He wore jeans, and he summons people to action with defiant declarations.

The peace process is about bringing a defeated people to the negotiating table, like the Lakota Sioux after Wounded Knee.

Israel was founded to be an apartheid state, that’s what it’s all about.

Jewish life is in moral freefall because of the Zionist captivity.

Abunimah is courtly, continental, ironic, and more indirect than Blumenthal, but just as incisive. He wore khakis and a white oxford shirt under a navy sweater and apologized for keeping us waiting during the frantic drive from New York City. He has soft dark eyes and likes to interact with the audience. How many of you are familiar with the name Peter Beinart? he asked. Ah, only five of you. That is very typical. And another sign, he said, of the fact that the mainstream discourse on the conflict is utterly separated from the people in the room.

That separation was the theme of the evening. Both speakers repeatedly cited Peter Beinart– He refuses to respond to us on twitter, but we don’t need him for our validation, we’re secure in our own skin, Blumenthal declared—because he is the liberal champion of the two-state solution even as he rules out equal rights for Palestinians.

Both men said that the two state solution was a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing and that while the mainstream discourse refuses to entertain that idea, campuses across the country understand it.

“There never has been a state offered to Palestinians,” Blumenthal said. “They have never been offered a state. I repeat, the Palestinians have never been offered a state ever.” Because a real state means control of borders and water rights and others elements of sovereignty, and the latest plans for a state would turn the West Bank into the “dystopic panopticon that the Gaza Strip currently is” and connect the two territories with a tunnel under Israel so that “the Morlocks” would never come out of the ground and be seen by “the villa in the jungle” (as Ehud Barak once described Israel).

Anti-racism was as much a theme of the evening as anti-Zionism. Blumenthal said it was the height of hypocrisy that Abe Foxman condemned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks at the same time as he condemned John Kerry for using the word apartheid to describe Israel’s future. Foxman is a leader of the self-appointed Jewish establishment, Blumenthal said, though young Jews are now seeking a release from “the psychological captivity of Zionism,” because they see that Zionism entails “an extremely hardened, rearmed, ethnocratic belligerent Jewish identity,” including indoctrination in the anti-Semitism of Arabs beginning at the age of 4 in the Jewish state.

Abunimah practices greater subtlety but he also took aim at racism:

The analogy I make in my book to this kind of thinking which is so common in the liberal intelligentsia in this country is if the response to the demand for civil rights, if the response to the demands for the end of Jim Crow had been OK, so African Americans want civil rights, and they want the vote. Well, what we’ll do then, is designate half of Mississippi as the state of the Negroes and all African Americans will have their national rights and their dignity and their sense of nationhood in the state of the Negroes. And in the rest of the United States, they will be essentially permanent residents or aliens or tolerated as a minority in a white democratic state. But that’s exactly the reasoning behind the two state solution. It becomes clear when Peter Beinart explains his support [Abunimah then quoted Beinart declaration that he could accept inequality for Palestinians].

I believe that that’s a case you cannot win majority support for in any mainstream forum in the United States or on any campus. That’s my experience.

Confident, and withering.

Here is another setpiece from Abunimah to do with the divide in the discourse and the decolonization model that was even more effective. It closed his speech.

This book [The Battle for Justice in Palestine], I really wanted it to offer hope. Yes it offers analysis and some of it is hard and sobering analysis. But if we break out of the very narrow limits of what we’re allowed to think by the gatekeepers in the liberal thinktanks and elite media– I don’t include the rightwing thinktanks– there is scope for really exciting action.

In the context of Palestine, I talk in the book about the transformations that are taking place right now in South Africa and Northern Ireland. I don’t present them as utopian or trouble free or not problematic. I think we have to grapple with these things as they are.

But the notion that whites in South Africa or Protestants in Northern Ireland can agree to give up power even if they resisted every step of the way and still resist it, but that Israeli Jews are somehow incapable of coming to the same conclusions– that really strikes me as bigotry. What I argue in the book is that Israeli Jews as a settler colonial community are just like every other settler colonial community. When they understand the system is untenable, that the resistance can never be suppressed, that the outrage around the world is not just growing but being being mobilized into more and more effective forms of action, I believe they will come to the conclusion that they have to change course and embrace a future in which equality and restitution are the way forward.

And the importance of the boycott and divestment and sanctions movement [BDS] is that it hastens this day. Because nothing– nothing will prolong the suffering of Palestinians like inaction, like saying ‘let’s just have dialogue without action.’ [Applause.] ‘Let’s send John Kerry back for another round of negotiations.’ ‘Let’s support the peace process.’ These slogans should be buried. No matter where they come from. Whether it’s Martin Indyk, or Barack Obama, or anti-Palestinian organizations like AIPAC and J Street. [Applause]
Palestinians are calling for action. And it’s very logical, it’s very simple When someone feels unassailable, when their power is so great, they don’t have to listen to those who are demanding their rights. The principle of BDS is very simple, you put pressure on the strong, you exact a price for the status quo, and you do it ethically, and then you bring them to real negotiations. Thank you.

The applause for the line about dialogue without action was the strongest spontaneous burst from the audience all night. Generally the students didn’t applaud; they were there for guidance and exchange; and the speakers addressed them as participants in a broad leftwing movement not just against settler colonialism in Palestine but neoliberalism and inequality in the U.S.

Sitting in the dingy drenched hall with a bunch of serious forward-tilting students, I came to think of Abunimah and Blumenthal as circuit-riding preachers, pounding a book of freedom. It must have been like this when the underground railroad was in action, and the southern freedom rides.

Blumenthal closed the evening with a rallying cry about organizing from the “bottom-up.” He’d just been up and down the west coast, he was flying to Chicago in another day or two. He stayed on the road after his book tour ended because of the energy in the chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. They were transforming the discourse far more rapidly than he had imagined, and he was excited to take part in it.

Israeli society was only going further right. Lieberman and Bennett’s plans involved transfer and more ethnic cleansing and annexation. The question wasn’t whether there was a one-state outcome but whether that one-state will be one of inequality or equality– “what can we do to make it work in the face of imminent dispossession and transfer of Palestinians?”

The ideas are going to come from the bottom up, and as I said, they will make an impact. I’m confident of that. If I weren’t confident of that, I wouldn’t be sitting here and traversing the country participating in these kinds of events.

I don’t consider myself a movement person, but a fellow traveler, I need to keep my distance. Still, I was struck by the power in the room. The participants were thoughtful and even grave and they did not need a lot of education about Palestinian conditions. They are past that point.

And Abunimah and Blumenthal’s theme is an objective fact: There is a complete divide in the discourse of Israel and Palestine. The mainstream is stuck on the two state solution forever so that it can say that it is addressing the problem. But these young people are now driving the conversation (even centrist and liberal Zionists acknowledge the trend). As the old paradigm crumbles before our eyes, they have the most focused logical argument to make about the future, and that gives them not just power, but responsibility.

Max Blumenthal will be speaking tomorrow night in Brooklyn. 7 p.m., the Friends meeting house. Details here

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About Philip Weiss

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

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97 Responses

  1. just
    just
    May 7, 2014, 10:18 am

    Your gift of masterful writing shines in this important piece, Phil.

    Many, many thanks. Ride on Ali and Max– you’ve the wind at your backs, and you are not alone.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      May 7, 2014, 2:57 pm

      Beautifully expressed, just.
      These men are our the heroes of our Times. And I include Philip Weiss, Alec Kane, Allison Deger and many others as well.

      • just
        just
        May 7, 2014, 3:14 pm

        many thanks, bintbiba. You are so very right about our present day heroes and heroines. ;)

  2. ritzl
    ritzl
    May 7, 2014, 10:23 am

    Interesting, significant article.

    When the discussive mood moves past the point of cheerled internal outrage into acceptance of a base set of facts to be conversationally presented externally, that’s a major shift.

    From the article:

    “The participants were thoughtful and even grave and they did not need a lot of education about Palestinian conditions. They are past that point.”

    Sounds like a field definition of “tipping point.” Rightfully so.

    I bet the two do make a great speaking pair.

    Thanks.

  3. Zach S
    Zach S
    May 7, 2014, 10:27 am

    Considering the aggressively and sometimes even violently hostile reactions “pro-Palestinian” groups have had toward individuals who don’t agree with them, is Phil realized surprised that no one who wasn’t already in the movement attended the event?

    It’s impossible to have a truly open dialogue among ‘Palestinian solidarity activists,’ because if you don’t march in lockstep with them they’ll try to drive you out on a rail. You want a two state solution? That means you’re a Zionist and therefore a racist. You want an end to violence? That means you’re telling the Palestinians how to resist occupation and therefore an Orientalist. You think Jewish people have the right of self-determination? That means you support a system of Jewish of Jewish superiority, which makes you a racist/Zionist.

    If Palestinian solidarity movement wants to reach a broad public, you have to be willing to adapt yourself and your message to the environment you are in, rather than expecting everyone else to change to accommodate you. Right now Americans support peace and a two state solution. You might be able to convince some to join you in rejecting the two state solution as well, but understand that you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle by fighting Israel and the two state solution at the same time.

    • just
      just
      May 7, 2014, 11:05 am

      I hope that you enjoy the bubble that you inhabit, Zach.

      • Zach S
        Zach S
        May 7, 2014, 11:23 am

        Yes, thank you for proving my point. Because I disagree with the way the Palestinian solidarity movement presents itself, I’m ” living in a bubble” and my opinion can be safely ignored. That is the state of Palestinian solidarity discourse today. Our way or the highway.

        I assure you, the world in which Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal are “rock stars” is very much a bubble as well. I remind you that the Palestinian people have yet to elect either of them as representatives, so they really have no mandate to speak on their behalf.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 9, 2014, 9:10 am

        The only point you’ve proven is that if you act like a jerk, then you are going to be treated like one.

        It’s none of your business how the Palestinian solidarity movement presents itself. Most of us don’t like the way the Zionist movement presents itself and could care less because regardless of how it presents itself, it will always be a turd. What counts is the message and substance.

        And the fact will always remain that Zionism is an ideology of ethnic and racial supremacy while the Palestinian solidarity movement stands for universal human rights. In the end, the substance will always win out.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      May 7, 2014, 11:12 am

      Could not have said it better, Zach. The latest polling shows absolutely no change in the way Americans view Israel; in fact, they view it more positively than they did before. Vassar is in a major bubble.

      http://www.pollingreport.com/israel.htm

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 7, 2014, 6:48 pm

        Zach: If Palestinian solidarity movement wants to reach a broad public, you have to be willing to adapt yourself and your message to the environment you are in, rather than expecting everyone else to change to accommodate you.
        Hoppy: Could not have said it better, Zach.

        I don’t see any reason to adapt our message about the need for equal rights and liberty and justice for all. Especially not when you two are shreying gevault and making a public spectacle out of yourselves here by speaking out in support of bigotry, inequality, and undisguised racism. Maybe you Zionists should consider changing your own shopworn approach of lawfare, propaganda, and bribery?

        The bottom line is that you publicly defend forms of criminality that have been denounced, as such, by the international community of states, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, the General Assembly, the Security Council, the ICJ, and the authors of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Of course you want us to change the subject from discussing the plethora of on-going Zionist war crimes and crimes against humanity, including: murder, persecution, pillaging, forced eviction by military attack and occupation, deportation, illegal population transfers, wanton and willful destruction of property, and violation of family rights and honor. But it just isn’t going to happen.

      • mikeo
        mikeo
        May 7, 2014, 7:54 pm

        The latest polling shows absolutely no change in the way Americans view Israel

        As with all polls the question being asked significantly affects the resulting answers…

        When Americans are asked what solution they favor, they go for the two-state outcome over a one-state paradigm by 39-24 (with another 24 percent supporting occupation/annexation). But if the two-state solution is not available, Telhami found that nearly two-thirds of those two-staters turned to a one-state option; and overall Americans would be for a single democracy by roughly two-to-one.

        Now that the US seems to be withdrawing from its role as mediator in the conflict and briefing against Israel behind the scenes (Recent Ynet Interview with Ravid, Kerrys apartheid “slip”, Newsweek accusations of espionage etc) Israeli leaders may need to pay less attention to polls in the US and more attention to global polls like these:

        Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran came out worst in terms of how they are viewed globally.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 7, 2014, 11:24 am

      >> You want a two state solution? That means you’re a Zionist and therefore a racist.

      IMO:
      – If you want one Palestinian state and one supremacist “Jewish State”, you’re a Zio-supremacist.
      – If you want two secular and democratic states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally, you’re not a Zio-supremacist.

      >> You think Jewish people have the right of self-determination? That means you support a system of Jewish of Jewish superiority, which makes you a racist/Zionist.

      When Jewish self-determination means that Jewish people use terrorism, ethnic cleansing, land theft, occupation, colonization, destruction, torture and murder to establish an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, supporting such self-determination does, indeed, make you a Zio-supremacist.

      No people – not even Jewish people – are entitled to a supremacist state.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        May 7, 2014, 3:09 pm

        Can the Dalai Lama advocate self determination for a distinct religious culture -people that is Tibetans?

        Or is he too a supremacist theocrat ?

        Why is secular multiculturalism the totalitarian solution for all mankind, the end of history?

        Perhaps because it is the preferred state religion of the multinational corporation. Absolute consumer equality under one dollar, one vote.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 7, 2014, 6:46 pm

        >> Can the Dalai Lama advocate self determination for a distinct religious culture -people that is Tibetans?

        If Tibetan self-determination involves creating a supremacist “‘Distinct Religious Culture’ State”, I don’t believe he should advocate for it and I don’t believe they should pursue it.

        If it involves creating a secular and democratic state of and for all Tibetan citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally, more power to him and to them.

        >> Why is secular multiculturalism the totalitarian solution for all mankind, the end of history?

        Why, in this day and age, is religion-based supremacism – or any other form of supremacism, for that matter – still considered valid by anyone?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 7, 2014, 7:11 pm

        “Can the Dalai Lama advocate self determination for a distinct religious culture -people that is Tibetans?”

        He can, but he would be mistaken too do so. It would be far better for him to advocate autonomy or independence for Tibet.

        “Why is secular multiculturalism the totalitarian for all mankind…”
        Centuries of miserable experience have taught us the value of secularism. But I am opposed to multiculturalism. In a particular state, I think I think it is harmful both to the individual members of the society and to the society as a whole for that society to be divided into little “cultural communities”. I advocate integration.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 8, 2014, 6:34 am

        Mistaken to do so. “Too” is a typo.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 7, 2014, 7:16 pm

        Can the Dalai Lama advocate self determination for a distinct religious culture -people that is Tibetans?

        Since you asked, the “principle of equality and self-determination of peoples” applies to all of the inhabitants of a territory, not just to members of a distinct religious culture. It requires respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

        Self-determination cannot be detached from the principle of equality. It does not imply the right to commit wrongful acts against others or exclude indigenous peoples from participating in the political, economic, and social life of the country. The UN Charter and the relevant conventions, declarations, and resolutions on the subject have always said as much.

    • mikeo
      mikeo
      May 7, 2014, 11:25 am

      If Palestinian solidarity movement wants to reach a broad public, you have to be willing to adapt yourself and your message to the environment you are in, rather than expecting everyone else to change to accommodate you. Right now Americans support peace and a two state solution. You might be able to convince some to join you in rejecting the two state solution as well, but understand that you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle by fighting Israel and the two state solution at the same time.

      Have you noticed that the “environment we are in” is one where the end of the two-state solution is being predicted by pretty much everyone who doesn’t have a vested interest in the facade of the two-state solution?

      In fact these recent failed negotiations were publicly declared as the last chance by Kerry and many others.

      As we all know the secret to polls is what question is asked.

      Does the result of this poll surprise you because it shouldn’t:

      Poll: If two-states collapse, Americans overwhelmingly favor ‘democracy’

      When Americans are asked what solution they favor, they go for the two-state outcome over a one-state paradigm by 39-24 (with another 24 percent supporting occupation/annexation). But if the two-state solution is not available, Telhami found that nearly two-thirds of those two-staters turned to a one-state option; and overall Americans would be for a single democracy by roughly two-to-one.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      May 7, 2014, 11:35 am

      “Considering the aggressively and sometimes even violently hostile reactions ‘pro-Palestinian’ groups have had toward individuals who don’t agree with them”

      Yawn. Yet another Zionist trading in the gutter of anti-Arab stereotypes. Yes, we all understand that you bigots think that all Arabs and their supporters are mindlessly violent. Yes, well all understand that you’re a bigot.

      “It’s impossible to have a truly open dialogue among ‘Palestinian solidarity activists,’ because if you don’t march in lockstep with them they’ll try to drive you out on a rail. ”

      No, they simply demand that, as a foundation, you recognize the absolute, unequivocal and inalienable rights that the Palestinians have. The problem is that Zionists, by and large, simply refuse to recognize that foundation. Mostly, I think, because once you do, you face “Beinart’s choice” of either jettisoning your ethno-religious prejudice (if not outright Judeo-supremacism) or jettisoning your commitment to the principles of human rights and equality. Far too many of you are willing to jettison a commitment to human rights and equality (for the Palestinians) if it inconveniences your Jewish Nationalism. That’s where the conflict lies.

      It’s not the Palestinian solidarity activists who are requirement lockstep action; they’re simply insisting on basic human rights. What you Zionists are trying to do is to stay in the conversation while exempting yourself from those bedrock principles and the Palestinians solidarity activists are in the right to reject your attempt.

      Your position is the equivalent of trying to negotiate with Klansmen who insist that if they’re not permitted to lynch the African Americans, they should at least — as of right — be able to steal from them and run them out of their homes, and then having the very same Klansmen turn around and stand bewildered as their negotiation partners insist on full human rights for African Americans as a starting point. The Klansmen then mumble something about their negotiating partners being impossible to negotiate with, because if one doesn’t “march in lockstep with them they’ll try to drive you out on a rail.”

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      May 7, 2014, 11:44 am

      @Zach S- So is this an example of open dialog? We’ve (the prevailing, unrebutted til now narrative) won so conform or else? Debate ends now?

      I’d turn that right around and challenge you to at least begin to embrace something other than your own self-interested version of reality, if peace is really the object.

      Many Palestinians want two states. There’s some advantage there for them. But Israel makes that impossible. Wanting two states is not a racist thing. Viewing a Palestinian “state” as an eviscerated, non-soverign reservation/bantustan, is.

      You want two states, so start agitating (loudly) within your own little covetous and/or self-righteous circle for that to happen. Focus on the fact that Israel continues to take Palestinian land and hasn’t stopped settlement expansion into what perhaps even you would deem a future Palestinian state in the WB, even while “negotiating” for your cherished, but ever just over the horizon, two states.

      It’s almost certainly too late for two states, but my guess is that you haven’t even tried to beat up on people on your “side” for that impending disaster (from your PoV). Why berate the Palestinian side for that failure? It wasn’t their fault. THEY aren’t building the settlements and confiscating their own land and demolishing their own homes and stealing their own water, are they? Does casting Palestinian activists negatively solve any of this? No it doesn’t.

      If you really want peace, stop trying to defend and/or contribute to the ongoing Israeli practice of cramming it down already humiliated Palestinian throats, and the related dismissive (to Palestinian issues) clamor that unrepentantly supports it abroad.

      Embrace the legitimate issues of others. Get real about it if YOU want it to happen. Focus on your own complicity in the two state failure. Accept responsibility. Don’t blame others for it.

      • Zach S
        Zach S
        May 7, 2014, 12:01 pm

        Hi ritzl, you said: “Wanting two states is not a racist thing.”

        But according to Abunimah and Blumenthal, it is a racist thing and should therefore be rejected. Phil reported that both of them agreed “a two state solution is a form of apartheid.” So either Abunimah and Blumenthal are wrong, or most Palestinians are.

        If you are correct that Israel actually has made a two state solution impossible, Abunimah and Blumenthal should be thanking them, as they believe a two state solution doesn’t solve the real issue. They firmly believe that Israel’s existence is wrong, anyone who supports Israel’s existence is a racist, and the only solution is to destroy Israel. Even if Israel did everything you ask (remove all settlements, end occupation, leave Jerusalem etc.) Abunimah and Blumenthal would still remain unsatisfied. And to be perfectly honest I think that hurts the Palestinian solidarity movement and makes them look like warmongers.

        This is kind of what I’m saying about how the Palestinian solidarity movement speaks out of both sides of its mouth. If you think peace and two state is not a just solution, fine. Say it loud and say it proud, and see if Americans and the international community gets on board. But to accuse Israel of undermining peace while doing the same yourselves is just unbelievably hypocritical, and you can’t seriously be surprised when people recognize that.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 7, 2014, 7:43 pm

        But according to Abunimah and Blumenthal, it is a racist thing and should therefore be rejected. Phil reported that both of them agreed “a two state solution is a form of apartheid.” So either Abunimah and Blumenthal are wrong, or most Palestinians are.

        Clarification: According to Blumenthal and Abunimah, the Palestinians have never been offered anything but a Bantustan or permanent exile. Wanting two states with equal rights for all is not wrong. On the other hand, the notion that Israel or Palestine can establish an ethnic majority through war crimes and crimes against humanity is wrong. Article 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention regarding the customary right to repatriation after the end of an armed conflict has been universally ratified. 174 state parties, including Palestine, have ratified the 1st additional protocol. It declares that 1) practices of ‘ apartheid ‘; 2) unjustifiable delay in repatriation of prisoners and civilians; and 3) the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory, in violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention are grave breaches and war crimes.

        So you can’t do any of those things to implement a legitimate two state solution.

      • talknic
        talknic
        May 7, 2014, 9:26 pm

        @ Zach ” Phil reported that both of them agreed “a two state solution is a form of apartheid.” So either Abunimah and Blumenthal are wrong, or most Palestinians are.”

        Problem… Search for : “a two state solution is a form of apartheid.” 1 result: YOU!

        “They firmly believe that Israel’s existence is wrong, anyone who supports Israel’s existence is a racist, and the only solution is to destroy Israel. Even if Israel did everything you ask (remove all settlements, end occupation, leave Jerusalem etc.) Abunimah and Blumenthal would still remain unsatisfied.”

        Care to quote… thx. Memewhile, speculation based on straw is cute…

      • Zach S
        Zach S
        May 7, 2014, 9:56 pm

        Talknic, Direct quote from Phil’s article:

        “Both men said that the two state solution was a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing”

        Abunimah and Blumenthal have been very on the record about their feelings toward a two state solution and Zionism. If you would like quotes I suggest using Google and/or Wikipedia.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 9, 2014, 1:14 am

        Talknic, Direct quote from Phil’s article:

        “Both men said that the two state solution was a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing”

        You deliberately failed to note their use of the definite article and the past tense, i.e. “the two state solution was a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing” versus “any two state solution is a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing”. Abunimah endorses the aims of the BDS Movement, which are not incompatible with a 2ss, so long as it results in a situation where equal human rights under the law are enjoyed by everyone, including the existing refugee population. You shouldn’t assume that he equates that goal with either ethnic cleansing or apartheid. He simply thinks that Zionists have taken a series of irreversible steps to prevent it from ever happening.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        May 7, 2014, 10:29 pm

        @Zach S- In addition to what Hostage and talknic (and, well, everyone) wrote in response in this thread:

        A) Imho, you have to distinguish between sovereign and the Israeli vision/version when talking about two states and whether or not it’s an apartheid concept. I don’t think you do that.

        B) You also have to distinguish between what’s achievable and/or precluded in real terms. I don’t think you do that either.

        C) I’m sure there are some people that have always sought one state. That’s not without cause given the original sins of Israel’s founding. But, my take is that when Abunimah and Blumenthal “call” for one state, they are merging the above two realities. Sovereign two states has long ceased to be an realistic option by Israel’s (and the US) hand, and the reservation/bantustan alternative “offered” by Israel (and the US) is classic (need I say unacceptable?) apartheid. What’s the alternative, realistically or otherwise?

        D) When you couple “peace” and “two states” together like they are intrinsically and exclusively linked you “tell” your inability to comprehend things outside your own very narrow views. Peace and two states COULD be intrinsically linked, but they are certainly NOT exclusively linked. There are many other options to achieve durable peace. What you are reflecting by your linkage is that you are unwilling to consider any other peaceful options. You just don’t want any Palestinians living next door within Israel, and will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen. So back to your original comment about “open” dialog. What does that really mean to you?

      • Zach S
        Zach S
        May 8, 2014, 9:20 am

        @ritzl:

        you have to distinguish between sovereign and the Israeli vision/version when talking about two states and whether or not it’s an apartheid concept. I don’t think you do that.

        Perhaps I do. When I talk about two states I mean the two states agreed upon by the US government and most of the international community: A Jewish state living in peace alongside an Arab state. This is the two state solution that the vast majority of the involved players endorse, and it is that two state solution that Abunimah, Blumenthal, and their fellow travelers are rejecting as an “apartheid concept.”

        You also have to distinguish between what’s achievable and/or precluded in real terms. I don’t think you do that either.

        I don’t believe that I do, but if so I’m not the only one. The Abunimah and Blumenthal crowd sincerely believe that with enough public support they can force the Palestinians on Israel and not see a bloodbath as a result. I don’t see that as achievable at this time, and probably not ever. We’re allowed to disagree though.

        Sovereign two states has long ceased to be an realistic option by Israel’s (and the US) hand…

        I think it was Norman Finkelstein who criticized the solidarity movement for their double talk on this issue that appears in your paragraph. When the possibility of sovereignty for two states appears, the solidarity movement rejects it because doing so would mean Zionism continues to exist, Israel gets away with their ethnic cleansing, Jewish supremacism continues, etc. But when the possibility of two states is allegedly gone because of settlements, you’re suddenly in favor of it again, just as long as you get to blame Israel for sinking it. Just pick a ideology and hold to it, please.

        When you couple “peace” and “two states” together like they are intrinsically and exclusively linked

        I’m just going by the framework of the international community, as I said.

        Personally at this time I don’t see the one state solution as a peaceful option, for two reasons: 1) Expecting two sides to live together in peace overnight after they’ve been fighting each other for a century isn’t realistic and 2) historically when two nations have lived in the same state it has led to civil wars (Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in Europe, Arab conflicts with the Kurds in the Middle East). Personally I would prefer a solution that involves as little people getting killed as possible, even if means disappointing Abunimah and Blumenthal.

        Another option is Egypt taking control of Gaza and Jordan annexing Area C of the West Bank. This also would result in less people being killed but would deny the Palestinian people their right of self-determination, and therefore is less desirable, but still overall better than one state.

        You just don’t want any Palestinians living next door within Israel, and will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.

        You don’t know me so please keep your accusations to yourself. Palestinians already live next door within Israel (1.2 million of them) and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        So back to your original comment about “open” dialog. What does that really mean to you?

        Not being shouted down, assaulted or insulted just because I don’t agree with the Palestinian solidarity movement.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 8, 2014, 5:06 pm

        you have to distinguish between sovereign and the Israeli vision/version when talking about two states and whether or not it’s an apartheid concept. I don’t think you do that.

        I certainly do. The only real meaning of sovereignty that is still applicable in international law is the popular sovereignty and human rights exercised by all of the inhabitants of a given territory and the doctrine of sovereign (juridical) equality of states. The latter does not include boundless discretion to violate the rights of your neighbors or of your own minorities on the basis of gender, color, ethnicity, nationality, descent, religion, & etc.

        Here is an extract from James Crawford’s “Conclusions” chapter in “The Creation of States in International Law”:

        “In the first place, the concept of “sovereignty” as a criterion for plenary competence has been rejected. Although that view gained a certain degree of acceptance among nineteenth-century writers and was accepted in the twentieth century in Soviet and in some western doctrine, the notion of “sovereignty” has been seen to be both unhelpful and misleading as a criterion. It is unhelpful since both the legal and the effective capacities, rights, immunities and so on of States may vary widely, within the limits established by the criteria for separate independence.

        The International Law Commission noted in 1949 that the concept of sovereignty was controversial and that the only tangible manifestation of sovereignty is the exercise of jurisdiction.

        Ralph Wilde explained the 19th century version that has been rejected: “the ”racialized” concept of a “standard of civilization” used to be deployed by the colonial empires to determine that certain peoples in the world were “uncivilized”, lacking organized societies, a position reflected and constituted in the notion that their “sovereignty” was either completely lacking, or at least of an inferior character when compared to that of “civilized” peoples.” That variety of sovereignty is deployed by the powers that be to subjugate others by claiming they do not fulfill the criteria for statehood. As noted by Prof. Crawford that criteria has been rejected. See the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/declaration.shtml and the multitude of resolutions concerning the implementation of that resolution in Palestine, e.g. http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/30BD5C6CF5E644DE85257C280053B565

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        May 8, 2014, 8:06 pm

        @Zach S- The Israeli version of 2S is NOT consistent with the international consensus. So right there you’ve already diverged into some false argument.

        A “bloodbath” is totally up to Israelis to avoid. THEY violently plunked themselves down in the middle of a place where they were foreign colonists. THEY have expanded that colonial enterprise into the WB. THEY will have to reconcile that initial inherent flaw. Will they? Probably not, but then some tension in Israel is unavoidable given that it continues to make the any viable 2S outcome, unviable. Can they? There are many common political interests between poor Jewish Israelis and soon-to-be assimilated Palestinians. So there are real avenues to avoid your shrill, rehearsed, and oft-repeated “bloodbath!” scenario. “Bloodbath!” is not an inevitable outcome, again if peace is the objective. You’ll (and those like you) will have to adjust to avoid it. Can you adjust? Or are you going to support killing people to avoid sharing?

        And Palestinian-Israelis cannot live next door to Jewish-Israelis in current Israel. That’s just a fact.

        Again, you have to adjust your thinking if YOU want actual peace. Time and events are not on your side. Do the right thing.

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores
      May 7, 2014, 12:25 pm

      @ Zach S,

      It’s impossible to have a truly open dialogue among ‘Palestinian solidarity activists

      you talk about open dialogue, try mention anything critical of Israel behavor towards the Palestinians or African refugees to most zionists and they shut you down by calling you an anti-semite, a self hating Jew or a racist.

      what do you want Palestinain passivity? where will that get them?

      you should consider the daily agressive violent hostile treatment the Palestinians put up with under Israeli illegal occupation.

      Right now Americans support peace and a two state solution

      Poll: Americans would favor one state if two-state solution fails http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.577597

      The survey, commissioned by well-known pollster Shibley Telhami, found that U.S. public support for a two-state solution is lukewarm. Less than four out of 10 respondents – some 39 percent – said they preferred a solution to the conflict that includes an Israeli and a Palestinian state side-by-side.

      Meanwhile, 24 percent said the U.S. should support a “one-state solution with equal citizenship,” 14 percent preferred “annexation without equal citizenship,” and 10 percent preferred Israel maintaining “occupation indefinitely” as solutions to the conflict.

      If a two-state solution were not on the table, however, some two-thirds of respondents would support the creation of one state with equal rights for Jews and Arabs, the poll found. Some 9 percent would choose the annexation option, while 25 percent opted for maintaining the occupation indefinitely.

      “Even among respondents who said they wanted American diplomacy to ‘lean toward Israel,'” Telhami said in an article in Foreign Policy, “52 percent said they would support one state with equal citizenship – which could, of course, mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.”

      When asked whether maintenance of Israel’s Jewishness or democracy were more important, two-thirds of respondents chose democracy over Jewishness.

      Some 65 percent said the following statement was closer to their view: “I favor Israel’s democracy more than its Jewishness. I support a single democratic state in which Arabs and Jews are equal.” Nearly a quarter of respondents, meanwhile, identified with the following statement: “I favor the Jewishness of Israel more than its democracy. I support the continuation of Israel’s Jewish majority even if it means that Palestinians will not have citizenship and full rights.” An option combining a Jewish and democratic state was not offered to respondents.

      According to Telhami, these results mean “that if the two-state solution fails, the conversation among the American public might shift to that of a one-state solution as the next-best thing. If American officials feel pressured to respond to this, it will likely create tension in U.S.-Israeli relations.”

      the two state solution is not looking good at the moment can we agree on that?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 7, 2014, 7:02 pm

      ” You think Jewish people have the right of self-determination? That means”

      you do not understand either the moral or legal issues involved.

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 7, 2014, 7:44 pm

      Zach S ” Considering the aggressively and sometimes even violently hostile reactions “pro-Palestinian” groups have had toward individuals who don’t agree with them”

      Example/s please … Meanwhile Israel KILLS people who oppose it’s expansionist policies while purposefully encouraging its citizens to break conventions adopted by the UN to protect ALL civilians, incl those of the Occupying Power from the very likely violent consequences of occupying another people. What kind of a government illegally sells its citizens land in territory that simply does not yet belong to the state.

      “It’s impossible to have a truly open dialogue among ‘Palestinian solidarity activists,’ because if you don’t march in lockstep with them they’ll try to drive you out on a rail.”

      You’re already out on a rail by supporting a state engaged in illegal annexation, illegal settlements, illegal dispossession, illegal acquisition of territory by war http://pages.citebite.com/y1f0t4q1v4son illegally selling non-Israeli land in non-Israeli territory to illegal Israeli settlers

      “You want a two state solution? That means you’re a Zionist and therefore a racist. You want an end to violence? That means you’re telling the Palestinians how to resist occupation and therefore an Orientalist. You think Jewish people have the right of self-determination? That means you support a system of Jewish of Jewish superiority, which makes you a racist/Zionist”

      If you say so Zach .. no one else here has.

      ” Right now Americans support peace and a two state solution.”

      Support peace and a two state solution by exercising the UNSC veto vote to prevent the law from having effect while Israel expands its illegal facts on the ground, pushing an equitable and just two state solution further and further from reach? Interesting theory…

      • Zach S
        Zach S
        May 7, 2014, 8:29 pm

        Hi talknic, I would be happy to provide some examples for you:

        http://youtu.be/xIFpoVkQk0c?t=18m

        http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2014/4/30/jewish-students-to-university-administrators-time-to-stop-hiding#.U2rOelcVces

        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/684040/posts

        Please let me know if you would like some more, as there are dozens of examples going back over a decade.

        In contrast, no Palestinian student activist is sincerely afraid of being killed or assault by his or her ideologically opponents. Daniel Pipes requires a bodyguard when he speaks on campus. Khaled Abu Toameh has reported feeling less safe at Berkeley than in Ramallah. I do not think that Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal can say the same.

        You’re already out on a rail by supporting a state

        Interesting zero-sum thinking. Because I am critical of the Palestinian solidarity movement you assume that I support Israel and its policies. I don’t. I have never made any statement in support of Israel, Zionism, or any particular government decision of theirs.

        If you say so Zach .. no one else here has.

        Actually if you read up the thread you will find other commentators here have stepped in to agree with me.

        Support peace and a two state solution by exercising the UNSC veto vote to prevent the law from having effect

        You can spin the phrase “peace and a two state solution” however you like but it will still mean the same thing when you’re finished.

        Also I think it’s interesting that you point to “the law” as your principle, as if the Palestinian solidarity movement wasn’t a solidarity movement at all but rather some kind of vigilante for international law. International law isn’t a buffet, you can’t pick and choose which parts of it to respect and which to ignore. Under international law, the State of Israel (Zionist, Jewish, or otherwise) has rights. It has a right to exist and defend itself, even if it is a “ethnosupremacist apartheid state,” or whatever buzzwords you use as labels to justify your campaign against it. As a sovereign state, it has a right to exist. So if you want to enforce the law, then enforce the law, not your own interpretation of it that serves your personal political ends.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 9, 2014, 9:20 am

        ” Right now Americans support peace and a two state solution.”

        While the American government vetos all efforts by Palestine to be recognized as a state. Meanwhile, Israel has never supported peace and a two state solution that included a viable Palestinian state. Even Rabin spoke of something less than a state.

        Every prime minister since Rabin has spoke of a non viable state with non contiguous borders, with no defence force and no control of it’s airwaves, air space or borders.

  4. American
    American
    May 7, 2014, 10:36 am

    “The applause for the line about dialogue without action was the strongest spontaneous burst from the audience all night.”…

    I hope that signifies that the phony ‘debates’ are worn out and over for most people interested in I/P and there has to be more action.

    Go Max! Go Ali!…..

  5. hophmi
    hophmi
    May 7, 2014, 10:58 am

    ” And the sponsors of the event did not include Vassar’s new Open Hillel, the Vassar Jewish Union. Again, a disappointment.”

    Oh, come on. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Studies department, and for the record, the Vassar Jewish Union did not sponsor the pro-Israel William Jacobson lecture either, a lecture which you apparently did not attend, but which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvZ7yFLkdeQ. What the hell do you want? Where else is a Jewish Studies program sponsoring an event like this?

    “They have never been offered a state. I repeat, the Palestinians have never been offered a state ever.”

    A complete and total lie. The Palestinians may not like what they’ve been offered, but they’ve certainly been offered a state many times.

    “The applause for the line about dialogue without action was the strongest spontaneous burst from the audience all night. ”

    What Abunimah calls for is action without dialogue, and he’s raising a red herring when he suggests that what critics of the BDS movement want is dialogue without action. Two groups of people want action without dialogue. One is the hard-left BDS movement. The other is the hard-right in Israel.

    ” It must have been like this when the underground railroad was in action, and the southern freedom rides.”

    You seriously must be kidding. Comparing these two to the underground railroad is offensive. They’re two Americans who are traveling the college campus circuit in complete freedom, not ex-slaves.

    “The ideas are going to come from the bottom up, and as I said, they will make an impact.”

    Elite college students are not “the bottom up.”

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 7, 2014, 8:24 pm

      @ hophmi “they’ve certainly been offered a state many times.”

      Interesting theory .. However
      A) statehood is not for other states to ‘offer’
      B) partition divided the existing state of Palestine
      C) by midnight May 14th 1948, Jewish forces were occupying territory slated for the Arab State. Jewish forces have never left these Arab territories thereby preventing independent statehood for 66 years
      D) Israel has ‘offered’ to swap Palestinian territory for Palestinian territory so Israel could keep Palestinian territory, which does not constitute ‘offering’ a state
      E) Israel demands a dis-armed, partially occupied Palestine. Which is quite simply 1) NOT an independent state and 2) a demand, like all Israeli demands, without legal basis
      F) Israel is legally required to withdraw from all non-Israeli territories including Jerusalem (see UNSC res 476 and other resolutions subsequent to UNSC res 242)

      So perhaps you can give us an example of what state has actually been ‘offered’ the Palestinians …. thx.

    • ToivoS
      ToivoS
      May 7, 2014, 10:42 pm

      hophni yet again distorts American history: You seriously must be kidding. Comparing these two to the underground railroad is offensive. They’re two Americans who are traveling the college campus circuit in complete freedom, not ex-slaves.

      Actually in the 1840 and 1850s many American abolitionist and others involved in the underground railroad traveled freely through the north making their case against slavery. They were free to do so. And most of those speakers were not ex-slaves, though some were.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 7, 2014, 10:59 am

    Thanks, Phil. I especially liked the part that says, “They are past that point.”

    Can’t happen fast enough.

  7. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    May 7, 2014, 11:22 am

    Both men said that the two state solution was a form of apartheid necessitating ethnic cleansing and “There never has been a state offered to Palestinians,” Blumenthal said.
    There is no reason to believe a two state solution would be a form of apartheid, ideally a two states solution with agreed minor adjustments to the green line would be best for both communities including with full civil rights within both countries, this two states solution is backed by all Nations at the UN and its various organs, in fact there is no political party anywhere in the world, including in Israel/Palestine which supports the one nation theory. This idealistic theory is not within the realms of practical politics, it does sound good and may one day come about, but does anyone seriously believe Israelis are going to agree to Palestinians one day being in charge and that the state of Israel will cease to exist? Ethnic cleansing then really does become a possibility. What Max say’s is true Palestinians have never been offered a state, nor will they, Palestinians have it within their power to claim everything that the Israeli state has, and it must do so at the UN and Agencies and demand the right to self determination International law gives them, they have International law and most Nations at the UN on their side, they will not be offered Nationhood, they must seize it using all legitimate means at their disposal. The analogy of Northern Ireland Ali alludes to is incorrect, Catholics and Protestants agreed to share power within NI and within the wider United Kingdom context, that is why the state is called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So the one state theory [United Ireland] was never on offer, had it been, civil war between the two parts of Ireland would have been guaranteed. That is not to say that a united Ireland may not one day come about, but just like a one state proposition in Ireland has yet to gain consent, similarly in Israel/Palestine, it has to come about with the consent of a majority of the populations in both countries.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      May 7, 2014, 11:46 am

      “There is no reason to believe a two state solution would be a form of apartheid, ideally a two states solution with agreed minor adjustments to the green line would be best for both communities including with full civil rights within both countries,”

      Nonsense. There is a very good reason to believe that: the people who run the world’s fourth most powerful militiary force have repeatedly indicated that they will never permit a real state (with full soverignty, the right to arm and defend itself, with full control of its borders, airspace, etc.) to exist in the West Bank and Gaza. The notion of two equal states, in peace, living side by side, is as much of a fantasy than you believe the one-state solution is. The difference is that the two-state fantasy allows the Zionists in America and the supporters of the Zionist state to pretend that they are pursuing something equivalent to justice and respect for human rights.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        May 7, 2014, 4:04 pm

        Woody Tanaka. @ “There is a very good reason to believe that: the people who run the world’s fourth most powerful militiary force have repeatedly indicated that they will never permit a real state (with full soverignty, the right to arm and defend itself, with full control of its borders, airspace, etc.) to exist in the West Bank and Gaza”. I agree, the question is will the rest of the International community allow Israel to have a veto over Palestinian self determination and genuine statehood? The Palestinians have not put in applications to all the agencies [about 63], and are not pressuring the ICC to take up the obvious war crimes taking place on a daily basis, in other words until they do and insist on taking the fight to the UN instead of putting their faith in the dishonest broker [the US] then we will never know. My one fear is the Israelis will annex area C and make the 150,000 Palestinians living there an offer, they hope, they cannot refuse.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        May 7, 2014, 7:01 pm

        “My one fear is the Israelis will annex area C and make the 150,000 Palestinians living there an offer, they hope, they cannot refuse.”

        For all the reasons I mentioned in two earlier threads, I think the Area C annexation option is the next step for Netanyahu and gang. And, they don’t have to make an offfer to the 150,000 Palestinians, they can just declare the new Greater Israel Palestinians are citizens of Greater Israel to the same extent Palestinians are in annexed Jerusalem, or in Israel proper.

        It will be up to the international community to object to the new reality which they didn’t do in any effective way after the Jerusalem annexation, or after the building of the wall despite a strong ICJ ruling that the wall and the settlements were illegal. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

        By failing to reward the Palestinians for their 10 years of non-violent protest and good faith negotiation, the international community is forcing an inevitable return to violence. It (all of us) will reap the whirlwind of their (our) criminal negligence.

    • Faisal
      Faisal
      May 7, 2014, 12:48 pm

      Comparisons with apartheid South Africa, French Algeria or Northern Ireland are of little to no help because the key element in the Israel/Palestine saga is Zionism; which doesn’t have an equivalent in any of those historical or contemporary examples.

      The trick is to make everybody see the dark side of the moon – not that there’s much of a bright side – that Palestinians and other Arabs see so clearly since at least 1948, and only recently Westerners began to see as well.

      There’s a reason why Israeli authoritarians don’t resort to hasbara with Middle Easterners generally; their targeted audience is primarily the largely indifferent, misinformed or culturally/subliminally sympathetic to imperialism/neo-colonialism Westerners – especially the American ones – and that’s how a settler-colonial/ethnonationalist movement that exiles, occupies and besieges about 10 million people continues to be viewed as innocuous, benign or even noble by many.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        May 7, 2014, 3:05 pm

        So right!!
        An ugly ideology which from its beginnings was all about ethnic cleansing, land theft, etc! As shown by its own practitioners from the very beginning too. There’s no such thing, no such animal, as a ‘liberal’ zionist, any more than one could say liberal nazi, or liberal stalinist. Anyone who thinks that’s what they are is deluding him/herself.

      • just
        just
        May 7, 2014, 3:07 pm

        Agreed, Faisal.

        Well said, indeed.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 7, 2014, 2:43 pm

      I think that both the 1ss and the 2ss are incompatible with Zionism, which cannot accept that non-Jewish people are in Palestine by right, and therefore neither has been offered. To my mind the 2ss is no more likely to be offered than the 1ss as a genuine compromise. My expectation, for what that may be worth, is none the less that a 2ss will one day emerge, but only as a transition either to normal majority rule (ie the rule of whatever majority emerges from time to time amid the mass of Jewish and non-Jewish voters) or to the gradual clearance of Palestinians from one enclave after another.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      May 7, 2014, 11:24 pm

      There is no reason to believe a two state solution would be a form of apartheid

      The current “solutions” proposed by Israel and the US seek to normalize the illegal situations created through criminal acts of population transfer and segregation that the UN has always condemned in the relevant resolutions. Those acts were always intended to alter the demographic balance of Palestine by force in violation of the rights of Palestinian and Jewish inhabitants on either side of the armistice lines. The UN and the international community of states have always maintained that those apartheid policies are null and void, and that the Palestine refugees, which originally included about 17,000 Jews and 750,000 Arabs, had the right to return to their homes in the respective Palestinian states. Anyone who claims that we have to respect or rationalize the illegal facts created on the ground is proposing the normalization of apartheid in violation of the applicable UN resolutions.

  8. irishmoses
    irishmoses
    May 7, 2014, 11:51 am

    A great piece of writing, beginning with “clotted with humidity”.

    The description of the crowd (small, well-informed, serious, involved, multi-colored) says volumes about the problem with the I-P issue and debate: It occupies only a tiny space in the American discourse. Vassar alludes to a place where the I-P debate is central, major, at the forefront of the national I-P discourse. Yet, key players in the recent, news-making Vassar events were no-shows, even though two of the main current voices in the I-P debate were the headline speakers at this event.

    I can understand Phil’s dismay. So much of what is and has been done in the I-P arena is speaking to the choir. Occasionally, some bit of news will bring I-P out of the shadows, but never for very long, and never more than a news cycle. These rare forays of I-P into the bright lights excite all of us. We think we see traction, progress, but a day or so later we’re back in the shadows.

    Several months ago I enthusiastically attended a book event for Ari Shavit. It was held at the Skirball Center in LA (a temple of Jewish success, writ large). The huge auditorium was packed with middle and older-aged folks who are part of the very active west side Jewish community.

    Shavit gave a half hour talk about his book, not mentioning the controversial parts about the real events of the Nakba. He then took questions. You would have thought he’d written a book on tips for travel in Israel. The audience was clueless about the importance of the book, and seemed to have no interest whatsoever in any implications it might have for the I-P debate. They loved Shavit but had no clue about the importance of what he was writing about, and he certainly wasn’t there to enlighten them.

    Depressing but typical. We speak to a very small choir which sings music few are interested in.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      May 7, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Doom, doom, doom!

      Where have you been, Irish? The discourse has totally changed over the past 5 years.
      And it is due to these small, focused groups all over the country, rising in unison, questioning the common narrative.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        May 7, 2014, 4:23 pm

        Krauss, you’re just a cockeyed optimist:

        From the musical South Pacific, written by two extraordinary Jewish composers in 1947, and, coincidentally, it’s about racism:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0DusO6ipLw

        The discourse certainly has changed over the years, but not substantively. It’s nothing more than the same small groups singing the same lyrics to the same small audience, mainly each other. I wish it weren’t so.

        I’ve come to believe it will take either violence akin to Algeria, or some epic event to make the world stand up and say, “enough already”. Zionism, for all its moral faults, is brutally efficient and effective. BDS is a pathetic tool by comparison. e.g. Despite all the drama about SodaStream and ScarJo, she and they are getting richer by the minute.

        Wish it weren’t so, but I’ve been watching and participating in this drama for too many years, and I’ve seen too many brief peaks of optimism that quickly get dashed, sending us back down to the hard realities of Zionism.

        Next step is annexation of Area C. Maybe I should compose a tune.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        May 7, 2014, 5:30 pm

        Hello, IM.

        One can just look at the changes over time- the solid left wing in the US over the last 60 years has become disenchanted with the State. Meanwhile, the State has become increasingly right wing and continues to do so with younger generations. It’s a big difference even from the leftwing immigrants of the 1950’s. BDS has become more widespread as an idea among left activists too. And Pals got the UN to see them as a State.

        If you judge everything in terms of the facts on the ground at this moment or the near future, you will be disappointed. But think about the lessons of history. Palestinians have more going for them than Armenians, since they haven’t been half killed off yet. How are Armenians going to come back to life and get back Western Armenia, AKA “Eastern Anatolia”? If you believe in justice and equality, then Palestinians’ situation is not one of despair.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        May 8, 2014, 5:10 pm

        W. Jones,

        The fact that I may despair is totally unrelated to whether I believe in justice and equality.

        To equate the two if more than a little offensive.

  9. Ecru
    Ecru
    May 7, 2014, 1:27 pm

    What the “Open” Hillel wasn’t represented? Well colour me surprised.

  10. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    May 7, 2014, 2:41 pm

    One of the comments above says that the brightest voices on I/P are mostly merely preaching to the choir. This is a way of asking a question: what will it take to make the I/P conflict a central issue, internationally and in America.

    Norman Finkelstein gave his answer to that question this week.

    On Monday 5-5-14 Norman Finkelstein gave a fabulous book talk at a Columbia University bookstore for his new book “Old Wine, Broken Bottle”, a severe take-down of Ari Shavit’s recent and highly acclaimed (anyone remember Peters’s “From Time Immemorial”?) “My Promised Land”. (The video should show up on Democracy Now.)

    It’s a short book and well worth a read.

    In the talk, NF said that the world will only give its full attention to Palestine, again, if there is further fighting, a third intifada. More blood of martyrs need be shed, he advised, although he couldn’t fault the Palestinians for backing down after all the years of getting no-where. His idea, I think, is that despite the successes of BDS, the world is only “primed” to take action on I/P (to put the “S” into “BDS”) and needs another violent reminder that things will not get better without international involvement. I don’t know if he’s right, but July will be TEN YEARS since the ICJ told the nations that it was their duty to force Israel to remove the wall — and the nations did exactly nothing.

    I often reflect that the weakness of the Palestinian position in the USA and elsewhere is that the Palestinians did NOT walk the road of terrorism outside I/P. they are not seen as a danger by anyone, certainly not by Israel. I don’t advocate terrorism, I merely say that violence has often caught the international imagination whilst passive suffering has not.

    This is only to say that perhaps NF has made an important perception.

    ALSO, NF made it a point, once again, sadly in my view, to say that BDS was flawed because it did not explicitly recognize Israel and its so-called right-to-exist. So sad, I think, because BDS does implicitly recognize Israel (it makes demands of Israel!) and also demands that Israel behave in a non-discriminatory manner within Israel itself.

    NF is a great man. His analyses are priceless. His perceptions are matchless. Please don’t continue to give him the cold shoulder because of his views on BDS. We are none of us perfect and, after all, as to BDS, he might somehow be right.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      May 7, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Mr. Belmont, I fully agree with you about Norman Finkelstein. He truly is a great man, and we lose a lot by giving him the cold shoulder. He has so much integrity …
      he has never backed down and always stays true to his principles in spite of all he has been vilified for.

    • irishmoses
      irishmoses
      May 7, 2014, 4:33 pm

      Ah, a fresh breath of air — honest realism, blended with a healthy dollop of pessimism.

      Good catch, Peter. Norman, despite his BDS quirks, is a true hero and pioneer, and one who sacrificed a promising future for a Sisyphean cause.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      May 7, 2014, 4:39 pm

      I would recommend skepticism when it comes to Finkelstein’s strategies and goals.

      Finkelstein does a top-rate job explaining the problems and abuses of the status quo. He says that the answer is just to enforce international law, which is a good position. However, on the rights of refugees, he suggests that they should only be compensated instead of returning to their land. Under international law, however, they should be able to exercize that right. As I think Hostage and I discussed, a return would actually not make a two state solution impossible.

      Further, Finkelstein takes a strangely hostile approach toward BDS, which if his comparison to South Africa were correct, should actually be a positive strategy to pressure the state to follow international law. Finkelstein’s answer is that instead, the conquered Palestinians in the territories must bear the overwhelming weight of pushing back on the violations. This is both unrealistic and inefficient. By now, one should already be doubtful about his advice to Palestinians on strategizing.

      But now, according to you, Finkelstein is recommending vastly outgunned Palestinians use armed violence. Is this ridiculous or lame-brained, among other things? Some of the Israeli Right toys with the idea of repeating the Nakba, but it would need a pretext for this. Would Finkelstein give similar advice to blacks in the Segregation South?

      I don’t automatically reject what Finkelstein says: he is wise when it comes to analyzing current policies and abuses, and something has to give. Palestinians should be active in campaigning for their rights, like he says. But unfortunately at this point activists have to be skeptical about his advice and where he is coming from.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 9, 2014, 1:27 am

        However, on the rights of refugees, he suggests that they should only be compensated instead of returning to their land

        He said no such thing. He said that if you want to exploit the current public consensus, you have to accept there is no mass support for the right of return. Finkelstein himself has pointed out that the right of return exists, is unconditional, and cannot be denied, but that Palestinians do have the right to negotiate and compromise. Frankly, a survey of the individuals concerned, on a case-by-case basis, is a necessary first step that has to be performed before anyone can intelligently discuss the amount of compensation desired or the number of refugees who even care about returning to either Palestine or Israel at this time.

    • Inanna
      Inanna
      May 7, 2014, 7:37 pm

      @pabelmont: NF gave us the cold shoulder, not the other way around. He distanced himself from the founders and supporters of BDS by calling us a cult and making other derogatory remarks. But his recent views show him to be a nicer version of Benny Morris – prepared to be honest about the way Israel was founded and the price but, with his view that Israel has a right to exist, prepared to say to those who suffered and still suffer the price – it was worth it.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        May 8, 2014, 5:03 am

        Yes imagine saying to the children of people who died in the Holocaust

        “It was horrible but look Europe’s had 60 odd years of peace since then so it was worth it”

        Wow I can already hear Hoppy screaming his “moral” outrage.

  11. just
    just
    May 7, 2014, 5:27 pm

    “NF said that the world will only give its full attention to Palestine, again, if there is further fighting, a third intifada. More blood of martyrs need be shed”

    A 3rd intifada will spell more disaster and death for the Palestinians. Shame on us (the ‘world’) for not supporting/celebrating the very impressive non- violence of the Palestinians. Remember Mandela, MLK, Gandhi… they won. All the Israelis are doing is provoking with extreme frustration while exposing their nasty agenda. I say celebrate the steadfastness and thirst for justice exhibited by the Palestinian people and move forward with BDS.

    1S1P1V.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      May 7, 2014, 5:35 pm

      I don’t know where NF is coming from on some of these things.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      May 7, 2014, 6:49 pm

      just: I agree with you. the ball should have passed out of the hands of the Palestinians into the world’s hands. After all, when the Nazi death camps were liberated after WWII, no one demanded that the prisoners inside them should have made an armed insurrection (or whatever) in order to MERIT being released.

      But the world does not read Kate and others on MondoWeiss. The world (especially the American world) doesa not know the pogroms, the police brutality, the army brutality, the unfairness of the legal system (as a lawyer I shudder, but the USA is going the same direction). Even NYC has just convicted a woman of attacking a policeman when she struck him with her elbow after he grabbed her right breast from behind. 7 years in jail! So Israel isn’t alone. There are horrors to go around.

      The world does not know the awful facts, especially in the USA. So maybe a new intifada (the first was not really violent and the third need not be either) would get the I/P back on page one “over the fold”.

    • irishmoses
      irishmoses
      May 7, 2014, 7:25 pm

      Just said:

      “A 3rd intifada will spell more disaster and death for the Palestinians.”

      The Algerian intifada spelled death, torture and destruction for millions of Muslim Algerians. But who won in the end? Who left and who stayed?

      If the tactic of the Third Intifada is to move the battleground to Western Europe and the US with the target being any Jew or any citizen of any country that supports Israel, how does Israel defend against that tactic? How long will diaspora Jews or citizens of countries supporting Israel continue that support when it is causing them a lot of fear and pain?

      ” I say celebrate the steadfastness and thirst for justice exhibited by the Palestinian people and move forward with BDS. 1S1P1V.”

      Palestinians will go forward with their legal appeals to UN agencies, and BDS efforts will continue. Israel will respond by annexing Area C. What then? If the international community and its legal bodies fail to support the Palestinains, how long should they wait before turning to violence>

      How long would you be willing to wait before fighting for your freedom?

      The Palestinians have foregone violence for about 12 years and where has that gotten them?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 8, 2014, 2:16 am

        Irishmoses- Arafat has been dead less than 10 years. Palestinians, specifically Fatah, did not decide on a path other than violence until Arafat’s death. Palestinians, specifically Hamas did not decide on a path other than violence until they were given entrance into the political process that culminated in their electoral victory of January 2006. That’s not 12 years. That’s about 8 or 9 years. I’m quibbling, but still, your number is not accurate.

      • Walid
        Walid
        May 8, 2014, 3:51 am

        “The Palestinians have foregone violence for about 12 years and where has that gotten them?”

        Irishmoses, you made it sound as if the majority of Palestinians had been involved in violence. It was but a minute fraction of the Palestinians that effectively participated in violent actions against Israeli Jews. Yonah that’s arguing since when is equally wrong as the violent acts of resistance by the very few began decades ago with the PLO and other resistance groups with Hamas coming on board in the late 80s as a violent resistance group during its first 15 years. The 2006 event that Yonah said triggered the Hamas violence is another of his errors. That was the year Hamas toned down its violent message and attracted the masses into voting for it, but neither the US nor Israel wanted to see its pacifist side and instead of extending a hand, they instituted the siege of Gaza.

        But you’re 100% correct in asking what has the Palestinians’ peace overtures gotten them. Worse, it has caused them to lose very much.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        May 8, 2014, 4:51 am

        Irishmoses, where has it gotten them? To a place of rapidly increasing respect, to a place where more and more lights are going off for the ordinary American, including the heavily indoctrinated young Jewish Americans. Just compare the media coverage over the past decade.

        Tools of violence by Palestinians is a gift to Netanyahu and what he represents. Listen to his rhetoric, it is all about the violent and savage Palestinians. Violence makes him right.

        Non violence resistance with the increasing world attention onto P/I exposes Netanyahu as an unhinged criminal and the Zionist colonial project for the crime it is.

        It is the slower and more difficult road, but will lead to a much better place for Palestinians. I think that is already happening. I hope.

        Btw, Phil wrote a wonderful piece.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses
        May 8, 2014, 6:01 pm

        Ellen said:
        “Non violence resistance with the increasing world attention onto P/I exposes Netanyahu as an unhinged criminal and the Zionist colonial project for the crime it is. It is the slower and more difficult road, but will lead to a much better place for Palestinians. I think that is already happening. I hope.”

        I too would prefer nonviolence but what do the Palestinians do next if their international agency efforts are rebuffed or vetoed, if the EU and US fail to sanction Israel, the settlement building accelerates, Israel retaliates by withholding funds and annexing Area C, and BDS has no appreciable impact? What then? Wait another 10 years?

        Far more oppressed peoples were liberated as a result of revolutionary violence then by largess on the part of their oppressors. Abbas has been in charge for 10 years and what do the Palestinians have to show for his nonviolent efforts?

        It’s really in the hands of the US, EU, and international community to support the Palestinians and force Israel to accept a reasonable solution, such as the Saudi plan, and to support BDS. Their failure to act will make violence inevitable.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 8, 2014, 9:32 pm

        irishmoses:

        Abbas has been in charge for 10 years and what do the Palestinians have to show for his nonviolent efforts?

        Abbas has led a fraudulent “peace process,” not any kind of massive non-violent intifada.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 9, 2014, 3:08 am

        Abbas has led a fraudulent “peace process,

        The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Palestine is under belligerent occupation. The notion that Abbas “led” the peace process is detached from reality.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        May 9, 2014, 4:22 am

        Hostage:

        The notion that Abbas “led” the peace process is detached from reality.

        Correction: Abbas has led the Palestinians in a fraudulent peace process led by others.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        May 8, 2014, 3:46 pm

        @ irishmoses

        I agree that those who support Israel in the West also need to be targeted but NOT by violence (no matter how tempting), that just plays into the Zionists hands, they positively ache for violence because it lets them play the “boo hoo Holocaust” card again and again.

        BDS I think is the way, aimed at ALL supporters of Israel no matter how large, how small and wherever they are.

  12. Felixio
    Felixio
    May 7, 2014, 5:59 pm

    The only and final solution is BDS, money talks and for this Zionist it will be the final solution, it’ll take time but little by little it’ll do its function. We have to realize that the Zionist regime is already concerned about it and desperately creating a system to combat it through the department of information.

  13. Keith
    Keith
    May 7, 2014, 6:23 pm

    JUST- “Remember Mandela, MLK, Gandhi… they won.”

    Do you really think so? Interesting.

  14. Keith
    Keith
    May 7, 2014, 7:40 pm

    PHIL- “Israeli society was only going further right.”

    The entire global political economy is moving further right, Israel merely a local manifestation of a global trend. Attempts to analyze Israeli society in splendid isolation will likely be wrong. Let us not confuse neoliberal globalization with Zionism.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      May 9, 2014, 1:40 am

      Attempts to analyze Israeli society in splendid isolation will likely be wrong. Let us not confuse neoliberal globalization with Zionism.

      Why not? Zionism is a people without borders for a state that doesn’t have any either;-)

  15. Keith
    Keith
    May 7, 2014, 7:41 pm

    ALI ABUNIMAH- “What I argue in the book is that Israeli Jews as a settler colonial community are just like every other settler colonial community.”

    This suggests to me that Ali Abunimah doesn’t understand the essence of Zionism as ideology. Claiming that the Zionist cadres will yield to the logic of rational self interest is a denial of the quasi-religious nature of Zionist ideology and of the entire notion of redemption of the land, and of the diehard resistance to the ‘un-redemption’ of even an inch of the sacred soil. This reality is discussed by by Zeev Sternhell, Israel Shahak and others.

    Shahak states: “Indeed, close analysis of Israeli grand strategies and actual principles of foreign policy as they are expressed in Hebrew, makes it clear that it is ‘jewish ideology’, more than any other factor, which determines actual Israeli policies.” (p9, Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

    As for Abunimah’s claim that whites in South Africa gave up power, surely he should be aware that political Apartheid was replaced by economic Apartheid, the white elites and transnational corporations dominating South Africa, blacks worse off than they were under formal political Apartheid. But even that cosmetic change occurred under radically different conditions.

  16. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 8, 2014, 2:13 am

    I don’t believe that Gaza is large enough to be considered a sufficient sized state to address the needs of the Palestinians for statehood. But Gaza is a potential state and thus rhetoric that the Palestinians have never been offered a state is technically false. The Palestinians have never been offered a state large enough to satisfy their natural demands. That is accurate, but Gaza makes the statement technically false.

    And the attack on Jewish life being in moral free fall can be made by anybody, as it is often made here by all types of people, but nonetheless Blumenthal has no street creds, Jewish street creds, to make such a claim. He doesn’t evince a scintilla of interest in Jewish life, and so his comments about its moral free fall seem duty free.

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 8, 2014, 5:24 am

      @ yonah fredman … whatever crappolla you need to spout yonah. The Palestinians had a state. It was partitioned. What remained of it beyond Israel of 00:01 May 15th 1948, has never been free of occupation, therefore has never been able to be declared independent. States, even if they’re Jewish, do not have the right to ‘offer’ other entities statehood, they DO have a legal obligation to get out of other folk’s territory so they can be independent.

      Nothing you can say can justify or excuse Israel’s illegal behaviour.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      May 8, 2014, 5:51 am

      yonah fredman:

      I don’t believe that Gaza is large enough to be considered a sufficient sized state to address the needs of the Palestinians for statehood.

      Ya think?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2014, 7:20 am

      “But Gaza is a potential state and thus rhetoric that the Palestinians have never been offered a state is technically false.”

      Baloney. Gaza is no less occupied by the Zionists than is the West Bank. Only the method of the crime differs.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 8, 2014, 7:35 am

      >> And the attack on Jewish life being in moral free fall can be made by anybody, as it is often made here by all types of people, but nonetheless Blumenthal has no street creds, Jewish street creds, to make such a claim.

      What is “Jewish street cred”? Is it a religious, secular, ethnic or national thing…or is it a combination of these things? Who gets to decide whether one has sufficient “Jewish street cred”, or any at all?

      • annie
        annie
        May 8, 2014, 12:13 pm

        good question. what on earth is ‘jewish street creds!’

      • talknic
        talknic
        May 8, 2014, 1:21 pm

        “what on earth is ‘jewish street creds!’”

        Being able to sell a cheap watch that didn’t fall off the back of a truck to someone by convincing them it did?

      • talknic
        talknic
        May 8, 2014, 1:31 pm

        “what on earth is ‘jewish street creds!’”

        Moving goal posts before they’ve been put up?

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 8, 2014, 1:38 pm

        >> What is “Jewish street cred”? Is it a religious, secular, ethnic or national thing…or is it a combination of these things? Who gets to decide whether one has sufficient “Jewish street cred”, or any at all?

        Also:
        – How does one go about acquiring “Jewish street cred”?
        – Can a non-Jew acquire it?
        – If one has “Jewish street cred”, can one lose it and, if so, how does that happen?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 8, 2014, 6:28 pm

        “How does one go about acquiring ‘Jewish street cred’?”

        You know Ward Connerly? You know how he bashes the African-American community left and right, sounds white when he talks, and makes it his life work to argue that affirmative action is wrong? He has no street cred.

        You know Bill Cosby? He says some harsh things about the Black community. But he funds scholarships and a lot more for African-Americans, is clearly supportive of most of the Black community’s initiatives, isn’t ashamed of who he is, and doesn’t try to imitate white people like many Black conservatives do. So people listen to him, even when they don’t agree.

        It’s the same with the Jewish community. If your whole deal is saying how assimilated you are, how bad American Jewry is, how bad Israel is, how bad religion is, etc., etc., etc., no one in the Jewish community (save a few fellow travellers), is going to listen to what you have to say because your heart is not in the right place. On the other hand, if you daven once in a while, care about Judaism even though you may be a little critical, and care about Israel even though you may be critical (Peter Beinart, Ari Shavit are both good examples), you might gain an audience.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 9, 2014, 3:00 am

        Jewish street creds- Rabbi Michael Lerner has street creds, based upon what he has studied and which rabbis he studied with. Marc Ellis can discuss Jewish history and Jewish scriptures with some degree of facility. Street creds. Udi Aloni has street creds from his mother and from living in Israel all those years. Phil (aspiring WASP) has no Jewish street creds and Max Blumenthal doesn’t either.

        As if you people never heard of the word Oreo.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        May 9, 2014, 3:13 am

        Marc Ellis refers to time in synagogue and Jewish scriptures. Ginsburg wore a prayer shawl in Dylan’s video for subterranean homesick blues and called a poem “kaddish”. Yeshaya Leibowitz was an Orthodox Jew who wore a yarmulke.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 9, 2014, 9:01 am

        >> y.f.: Jewish street creds- Rabbi Michael Lerner has street creds, based upon what he has studied and which rabbis he studied with. Marc Ellis can discuss Jewish history and Jewish scriptures with some degree of facility. Street creds. Udi Aloni has street creds from his mother and from living in Israel all those years. Phil (aspiring WASP) has no Jewish street creds and Max Blumenthal doesn’t either.

        Hmmm…”Jewish street cred” appears to be a highly arbitrary term (covering everything from rabbinical studies to something you get from your mother) that can be employed to disparage people one considers to be insufficiently Jewish. It smacks of bigotry. Very classy.

        >> y.f.: As if you people never heard of the word Oreo.
        O·re·o:

        Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
        a black person who is regarded as having adopted the attitudes, values, and behavior thought to be characteristic of middle-class white society, often at the expense of his or her own heritage.

        Stay classy, y.f.

    • just
      just
      May 8, 2014, 12:19 pm

      Who are you to judge anybody, yonah?

  17. Pixel
    Pixel
    May 8, 2014, 2:54 am

    Phil, have you ever thought about becoming a writer?

    Wow.

    Just Wow.

  18. Hostage
    Hostage
    May 8, 2014, 3:58 am

    But Gaza is a potential state and thus rhetoric that the Palestinians have never been offered a state is technically false.

    Don’t be disingenuous. The only written offer Israel ever gave the inhabitants of Gaza was a five year sentence in an open air prison that it has unilaterally renewed ever since:

    AGREEMENT ON THE GAZA STRIP AND THE JERICHO AREA, Cairo, 4 May 1994
    Article XXIII
    Final Clauses

    3. The five-year interim period referred to in the Declaration of Principles commences on the date of the signing of this Agreement.

    4. The Parties agree that, as long as this Agreement is in force, the
    security fence erected by Israel around the Gaza Strip shall remain in place
    and that the line demarcated by the fence, as shown on attached map No. 1, shall be authoritative only for the purpose of this Agreement.

    http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/15AF20B2F7F41905852560A7004AB2D5
    See MSNBC Patrick Buchanan – “Gaza is an Israeli concentration camp.” and PM Cameron calls Gaza a Prison Camp
    * ICRC Gaza closure: not another year! http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/palestine-update-140610.htm
    * Collective punishment in Gaza must end: Israel’s blockade enters its 7th year – UN Special Rapporteur http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13455&LangID=E

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 8, 2014, 7:33 am

      Has Pat Buchanan been allowed back on MSNBC since the linked video clip? Just asking as I for one, have not seen him there since then.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        May 9, 2014, 1:45 am

        Has Pat Buchanan been allowed back on MSNBC since the linked video clip? Just asking as I for one, have not seen him there since then.

        He was let go, but I don’t think this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  19. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    May 8, 2014, 10:45 am

    RE: “As the old [two-state] paradigm crumbles before our eyes” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Hopefully, many people who have been blinded for years by Zionism (or its propaganda) will “come on down to the river of sight” and realize that “it’s only castles burning”. There they will find others who are likewise “turning”, and then they will all “come around”.

    . . . Blind man running
    through the light
    of the night
    With an answer in his hand,
    Come on down
    to the river of sight
    And you can really understand,
    Red lights flashing
    through the window
    in the rain,
    Can you hear the sirens moan?
    White cane lying
    in a gutter in the lane,
    If you’re walking home alone.
    ~
    Don’t let it bring you down
    It’s only castles burning,
    Just find someone who’s turning
    And you will come around . . .
    ~ Neil Young, 1970

    Neil Young: Don’t Let it Bring You Down [VIDEO, 02:57] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jzhLtt_pGQ

    P.S. LYRICS SOURCE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jzhLtt_pGQ

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