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U.S. is even more implicated in Israeli settlement project than we thought

Middle East
on 78 Comments

The Israeli colonies are an American problem in a whole new way. Nearly one out of six settlers in the West Bank is an American. Haaretz broke the story. Oxford scholar Sara Yael Hirschhorn says Americans are starkly overrepresented among West Bank settlers:

Roughly 60,000 American Jews live in West Bank settlements, where they account for 15 percent of the settler population, according to figures revealed Thursday by an Oxford University scholar and expert on this population.

Newsweek’s Jack Moore reports the American policy angle:

Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said that the new figures revealed that the settlement enterprise in the West Bank was not only an internal issue but “an international problem.”

“Unfortunately, while the Obama administration has been persistently vocal against settlement developments, some 60,000 American citizens are taking an active part in an attempt to make the two state solution impossible,” says Anat Ben Nun, Peace Now’s director of development and external relations.

The study leaves out all the settlers in East Jerusalem: 200,000 of them three years ago, per the United Nations.

And remember that the settlement movement is funded not just by the Israeli government but tax-deductible donations from American Zionists. An issue the US media has refused to deal with.

Hirschhorn has a book coming out, called, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967,” that reportedly says the Jewish American settlers are idealists who come out of a leftwing background typically but are ardent Zionists and are applying their idealism to that ideology. I’m dubious about that one. I’ve met a lot of American settlers who are anything but leftwing in their orientation. My research is anecdotal, yes, but I’ve heard fundamentalist religious ideas and Jewish-chauvinist ideas of a very intolerant character. These people’s actions destroy the meaning of leftwing. And yes, one or two are former hippies, slingin M-16s. I believe I met Hirschhorn in 2006 in Hebron, when she was starting out on this project; and we had this difference of opinion then too; we have different points of view. [Update: Hirschhorn says it wasn’t her on that trip.]

Hirschhorn says her findings have now been reported in Iran; and she asks an urgent question on her twitter feed:

A month ago tonight, family was burned alive by . No arrest/prosecutions since. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?!

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About Philip Weiss

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78 Responses

  1. Fritz
    Fritz
    August 30, 2015, 1:02 pm

    In these days when the new novel by Jonathan Franzen will be published, I’m thinking about the Berglunds in “freedom”, and the topic of Jewish heritage in this novel. The brother of the main figure failed to earn his living in the US, lived on the expenses of his mother and siblings, became more and more observant to Jewish customs, and eventually went to Israel in a settlement with his family. That’s my idea of these American settlers. Was Franzen criticized as anti-Jewish for his novel in the US?

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      August 30, 2015, 1:57 pm

      The numbers are shocking. The American government must address this serious issue, and answer as to why this has been ignored, and consider stopping the aid and unwavering support.
      It has made matters even worse for the Palestinians, and encouraged the occupier to keep building more illegal settlements, after all they house Americans. It makes me wonder how many of these Americans are the Jewish terrorists that attack and kill.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        August 30, 2015, 8:16 pm

        “It makes me wonder how many of these Americans are the Jewish terrorists that attack and kill.”

        Excellent question, especially given the panic about Americans going to defend against these “Jewish terrorists”.

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        August 30, 2015, 11:41 pm

        What Americans need to realise is the behaviour of Settlers and the American “special relationship” with Israel endangers American Citizens globally. No need to wonder why when American citizens are rubbing salt in an already gaping wound by becoming active settlers and dispossessing Palestinians of their land. In many ways the American Government has an imperative obligation to protect its citizens by stopping them engaging in illegal and criminal behaviours that can have a detrimental effect on Americans as a whole. America can no longer defend its indefensible position re settlements. Its policy states settlements are illegaL Therefore American citizens participating in the enterprise is also illegal. America can remove their American citizenship and/or have them deported back to America to face charges. America needs to act against these people….it is looking like a laughing stock much to the enjoyment of Israeli Right Wing Jews. Undermining America is what it is all about. Wake the hell up!

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 31, 2015, 7:43 am

        JW and Inbound, good points. If the US government does not recognize the illegal settlements, what are the legal ramifications of thousands of American citizens living there? Has the State Department put out warnings against American citizens living there. Do they get social security and other benefits that Americans living in the US do? It will be interesting to know.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 31, 2015, 9:01 am

        Interesting questions. I’m sure Hostage or one of the other legal eagles can give us a few answers. As far as Social Security is concerned, people who have paid in to the system can get benefits even if they do not live in the US. I get a small sum, and I’m not a citizen, but I haven’t broken more than the average number of international laws. Being illegally settled in occupied territory might alter the picture.

      • biggerjake
        biggerjake
        September 3, 2015, 11:48 pm

        The “Justice” Department has the time and the will to arrest a bunch of FIFA execs from all around the world for some funny bookkeeping in other countries but they don’t have will to indict real criminals like Netanyahu et al who have murdered thousands of innocent Palestinians.

        Just as guilty are those in the US government who have continued to provide arms to Israel when they know full well Israel is using them to kill women and children. That is a direct violation in US and international law.

        A real Justice department would go after those American citizens who are stealing Palestinian land, and a real American government would provide arms and military support to the Palestinians. Israel is a rogue terrorist state and something needs to be done about it…

  2. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 30, 2015, 3:02 pm

    Is this really new information? Maybe the specific report is new, but surely many observers have known about the prominent role Americans play among the settlers, as well as among Israelis in general. Perhaps the fact that Newsweek would mention it is as significant as the report itself.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      August 31, 2015, 2:23 am

      Perhaps the fact that Newsweek would mention it is as significant as the report itself

      Wasn’t it the European version though? And by the way, nobody reads Newsweek these days anyway, so what difference does it make?

      From Phil’s article:

      That reportedly says the Jewish American settlers are idealists who come out of a leftwing background typically but are ardent Zionists and are applying their idealism to that ideology.

      It is people like Hirschhorn who have allowed this situation to happen. Even now she is covering for them. Hirschhorn cannot believe that Jews are capable of that and sets out to paint them as ‘misguided idealists’.

      They are idealists alright, for Apartheid.

      Why do “liberals” like she cover for them? Ethnocentrism.
      That’s why I can’t take people like that seriously. Because they are the ones who have been pacifying the Western left for decades, out of tribal loyalty. They may have liberal values in the diaspora but when it comes to Israel, they change. All of a sudden, all these excuses start to emerge. It’s not that Hirschhorn supports settlements in the WB, it’s that she makes so many excuses for them so the net effect is that she defends them. I believe it is because she deeply doesn’t want to admit to herself that Jews are capable of this, purposefully.

      And her failure to come to terms to that is, in the end, a moral failure on her part.

      That’s why they – the Hirschhorns of the world – don’t have a right to complain about BDS when it goes beyond the WB. BDS exists because the Hirschhorn’s of the world didn’t just don’t do their job. They actively covered up for Apartheid out of tribal loyalty/ethnocentrism. Why would we listen to you now?

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        August 31, 2015, 6:03 am

        Krauss, you are right, it’s the European version. You read it more closely than I did. (And yes, I forgot about Newsweek’s reduced significance these days; change can slip up on one.) Your reading of the article, and of the situation, is a good one.

      • RockyMissouri
        RockyMissouri
        August 31, 2015, 8:57 pm

        I appreciate and respect your perspective.

        Thank you for it!

      • Steve Macklevore
        Steve Macklevore
        September 1, 2015, 4:51 am

        Krauss – That’s a really perceptive comment.

        Thank you.

    • italian ex-pat
      italian ex-pat
      August 31, 2015, 10:23 pm

      @ Boomer

      I had the same reaction, that anybody would be surprised that a lot of settlers are Americans. Where does anyone think all the new arrivals come from? And why is Israel targeting American Jews with programs such as ‘Birthright Israel’ and similar, unless it was clear there is such fertile ground here? Most Europeans Jews who wanted to live in Israel moved there a long time ago, so did the Russian Jews. The present wave is from the US, particularly from certain New York neighborhoods. They are obviously not leaving the US due to religious persecution or in search of a better economic life, but because they believe that they are doing God’s work in strenghtening the Jewish nation by staking a claim to the land God ‘gave’ them.
      Because they are motivated by such fanatical ideology, rather than simple materialistic reasons, they are the most dangerous segment of the settler community, and I would bet they – and their progeny – are the ones behind the most violent acts of aggression against the WB Palestinians.

      • Steve Macklevore
        Steve Macklevore
        September 1, 2015, 4:53 am

        Certainly large numbers of the most violent aggressive and plain nutty settlers I came across had American accents and spoke perfect English, albeit loudly.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 30, 2015, 4:39 pm

    U, USA taxpayer,R helping 2 fund illegal Israeli settlements although those settlements R not officially supported http://wapo.st/1w5xc9A

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 30, 2015, 4:43 pm

    Study: 15% of West Bank Settlers Are Jewish Americans http://europe.newsweek.com/332168 via @NewsweekEurope #IsraelSettlementsUSAmerica

  5. ckg
    ckg
    August 30, 2015, 4:45 pm

    Interesting, Phil. You state the 60,000 figure does not include the East Jerusalem settlers. I believe you’re right. The Haaretz article does not clarify this but the Newsweek article does. If the 60 thousand represent 15% of the settlers, then there must be 400 thousand settlers. But the 400 thousand figure does not include East Jerusalem.

    The fact that even a liberal Zionist publication whose editors ostensibly support a two state solution can just ignore this point underscores how distant a two state solution is.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 30, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Palestine Overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants while US taxpayers fund this absurdity – http://goo.gl/fYaQtO

  7. ckg
    ckg
    August 30, 2015, 5:45 pm

    Mike Huckabee, who certainly must know that U.S. candidates for public office can only accept contributions from U.S. citizens, had a fundraising event last week in a West Bank settlement.

    According to Haaretz, Hirschhorn says “her findings disputed many of the widely held presumptions about this group, namely that these immigrants had been unsuccessful back home and came to Israel for lack of any other alternative, that they were very Orthodox and supported right-wing causes in America.

    But if Mike Huckabee does not represent “right-wing causes in America”, then just how far to the right has our nation become?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 30, 2015, 6:00 pm

      So what, ckg? 60,000 goons is a lot of goons and it is entirely plausible that most of them vote Democrat as they do here in the States. Besides, it’s also very probable that a lot of the fundraising people will provide funds to the opposite party if they support a particular aspect of the candidate’s program, and Huckabee’s is a minimal program for the settlers.
      Besides, name the most powerful “right wing cause in America”. Yes, you guessed it. It is supported as much by the Dems, from Hillary Clinton II to Sanders as by the Republicans. So there is no “left” here, not by any stretch of imagination.
      Anyone supporting Palestinian resistance may ask herhimself what the hell heshe is doing supporting either the Democrats or the Republicans, i.e. Saban vs Adelson.
      Why should the murderous settlers be any different?

      • ckg
        ckg
        August 31, 2015, 6:55 am

        From an AP report on November 5, 2012:

        JERUSALEM — American expatriates in Israel are lining up strongly behind Republican candidate Mitt Romney, in contrast to their fellow Jews back in the U.S., according to a survey.

        While American Jews have long backed Democratic presidential candidates, American immigrants in the Jewish state are staunchly Republican. One recent survey estimated that more than four-fifths of expatriate voters here cast absentee ballots for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

        Most Americans who immigrate to Israel are religious Jews who tend to hold socially conservative views typical of Republicans. Their backing for Romney also reflects a general trend in Israel, where Obama is widely viewed with suspicion.

        A survey by iVoteIsrael, a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote organization, found that 85 percent of American voters in Israel cast absentee ballots for Romney. The group polled 1,572 U.S. expatriates between Oct. 22 and 24, and said the survey had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

        According to iVoteIsrael, there are almost 160,000 potential voters in Israel. The group estimates that half of them cast absentee ballots this year, up from 20,000 in 2008.

        In the United States, Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, according to exit polls at the time.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/05/us-presidential-election-americans-israel_n_2078983.html

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 31, 2015, 10:35 am

        ckg,

        Impressive, thanks for the correction. That takes care of the doctoral thesis. But then, those who really are beneath contempt are their mainly Democratic relatives back home, who play it “progressive”(except Palestine of course), represent the Republican Americans as the devil incarnate because of some piddling cultural differences, while coddling and feeding and preferentially supporting their equally Republican tribe who occupies Palestine, with all the resources stolen from the needy and the poor of their own American country. Drives you even more furious.

  8. Les
    Les
    August 30, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Our zealot Pilgrim fathers considered themselves God’s “Chosen People” for the religious persecution they had endured which made it easy to justify the extermination of American Indians whose land the Christians coveted. These settler occupiers of Palestine keep the tradition alive complete with claims of sanctity.

    • wfleitz
      wfleitz
      August 31, 2015, 3:38 pm

      Yes, and it wasn’t just the Puritans either. The highest Catholic authorities condoned this genocide as well….

      In 1493, one such bull, the pronouncement Inter Caetera, granted Spain “full and free power, authority, and jurisdiction of every kind” over non-Christian people in the new land. It declared that “the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself.”

      This bull and others like it gave license to the domination of native peoples, arguing that because they were not Christian, they lacked human rights. Instead of being encountered like human beings, native people were said to have been “discovered,” like some new species of animal.

      In time, the bulls grew into an international norm known as the “Doctrine of Discovery,” which played a crucial role in justifying European claims in the Americas, and inspired U.S. western expansion

      http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/intergenerational-grief-cheyenne-river-indian-reservation

  9. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    August 30, 2015, 11:31 pm

    “Jewish-chauvinist ideas of a very intolerant character” are to be found among all Zionists. No need to imagine that latte-drinking “Democrats” won’t have them. Also, if by “leftwing” you mean “Democrats” well perhaps that Hirschhorn lady also thinks like you. Meaning no difference at all anywhere between “leftwing” and “rightwing”. Most certainly no difference at all with respect to Zionism, invasion, right of conquest, ethnic cleansing…

  10. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 31, 2015, 6:53 am

    Juan Cole has a good discussion about this, with a map and some background information that is probably superfluous for most people here, but is useful when explaining to the many Americans whose understanding of such matters is vague:
    http://www.juancole.com/2015/08/palestine-overwhelmed-immigrants.html

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 31, 2015, 8:24 am

      Yes, I linked to Juan Cole’s witty piece above in this thread. Most Americans never heard of Juan Cole, of course.

    • Kris
      Kris
      August 31, 2015, 11:11 am

      Thanks, Boomer, the Juan Cole article, “Palestine Overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants,” is excellent, and is perfect for sharing on facebook because Cole explains the situation so clearly. From the article:

      “It is strictly illegal for the occupying power to attempt to annex occupied territory or to transfer its citizens into militarily occupied territory. Mussolini’s Italy pulled that stunt with the parts of France he occupied during WW II.

      When you hear that someone has violated the Geneva Convention, that isn’t just an abstract matter. It means that someone is acting the way the dictators acted during the war, because it is that kind of lawless behavior the conventions were attempting to forestall from happening again….

      Some 60,000 of the squatters, today’s equivalent of Mussolini’s Black Shirts, are Americans, according to a new study.”

  11. kattenbu
    kattenbu
    August 31, 2015, 10:20 am

    Your article inspired me to revise/update my little story about Chicago-born rabbi Dovid Ben-Meir, who lives in the settlement of Eli and guides visitors through the Shiloh ruins. You can listen to our interview here. Very articulate guy:

    http://www.greenplanetmonitor.net/news/palestinians-israelis/david-ben-meir-jewish-settler/

    • Froggy
      Froggy
      August 31, 2015, 4:58 pm

      David : “It’s hard coming away unconvinced from a conversation like this.”

      Back around the 5th century the Saxons invaded/settled Britain. My ancerstors, who lived in the West Country and Wales got in their little boats and came across to settle on the Amorican peninsula in what is now France. We still speak the language (which is similar to Welsh), and DNA proves the connection.

      So what prevents me from going over to the UK, building a house, and taking the land away from the people who live there now? We were there first, after all. It’s our ancestral home.

      Of course not. Nobody thinks like that… except the zionists.

      The ‘rabbi’ is a liar. a slanderer, and a thief.

      • kattenbu
        kattenbu
        August 31, 2015, 5:38 pm

        Hi Froggy … We’re on the same page. What I came away convinced of, after my interview with Rabbi Dovid (and others of his sort), was that the settlement project can’t be stopped — can’t even be rolled back — and that a Palestinian state will never come to be. When the hundred-year war is complete, Israel/Palestine will be a single state with a Jewish minority. Who knows what agony along the way and in its wake. Peace and justice would be wonderful, but I’m doubtful.

      • lysias
        lysias
        August 31, 2015, 6:34 pm

        The sooner the Jews of Israel recognize that there is eventually going to be a binational state in Israel/Palestine, the better terms they will get in an agreement. They could have various kinds of constitutional guarantees supported by an international agreement, if they agreed to settle now.

        But the longer they wait, the worse the terms will be that they will have to settle for.

        And if they wait too long, they will face the fate of the pieds noirs European settlers in Algeria, and have to leave Palestine (which will then not be binational Israel/Palestine).

  12. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 31, 2015, 11:16 am

    I’d like to see the breakdown in her numbers in terms of which settlements Americans are going to.

    As far as American settlers coming from an idealist left-wing background: that may have been true a generation ago, but it’s hard for me to believe that that remains the case. Most of the people I know who are making aliyah from the United States today are Modern Orthodox. They usually make aliyah either at the end of high school or college, or they are make aliyah when they are young families. Single people often go to West Jerusalem neighborhoods, and they span the political spectrum; I know a few who are left-wing social activists. As far as the young families, while there is an ideological bent to their aliyah, they tend to be motivated more by the high cost of living in the United States, especially by day school tuition. Many of them are moving to places like Modi’in. Meirav Zonszein complained about these American aliyot; American aliyot have helped to make the cost of living in Israel unaffordable for many Israelis. http://972mag.com/north-american-jews-moving-to-israel-because-its-cheaper/19110/

    If Phil Weiss wanted to reduce the flow of young American orthodox Jews to Israel, he’d propose a workable education plan; day school tuition today is probably the biggest motivator of aliyah among young Modern Orthodox families. And no, calling for people to assimilate isn’t going to cut it.

    • Fritz
      Fritz
      August 31, 2015, 1:21 pm

      Thanks hophmi, sounds like nice guys and ordinary people. When I met an (reformed) Rabbi from London living in Jerusalem in about 2007 he told me that these American settlers play „Wild West“ with weapons and all that stuff in the West Bank. What is Your perspective on that assumption? May be Phil should offer some more than low day school tuition, may be also shooting on native people?.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 31, 2015, 2:05 pm

      “As far as American settlers coming from an idealist left-wing background: that may have been true a generation ago, but it’s hard for me to believe that that remains the case. Most of the people I know who are making aliyah from the United States today are Modern Orthodox. -“

      ROTFLMSJAO! Hophmi, gosh darn it, Phil was trying to be nice about it. Okay, then we’ll have it your way, they are religious extremists.

      “As far as the young families, while there is an ideological bent to their aliyah, they tend to be motivated more by the high cost of living in the United States,”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Yes, housing is expensive in the US. Why buy when you can steal? –

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        September 4, 2015, 2:33 pm

        Zing!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 31, 2015, 2:12 pm

      “If Phil Weiss wanted to reduce the flow of young American orthodox Jews to Israel, he’d propose a workable education plan; day school tuition today is probably the biggest motivator of aliyah among young Modern Orthodox families.”

      And Hophmi makes Judaism pay off again, with public funds for private Jewish religious schools.

    • Rashers2
      Rashers2
      August 31, 2015, 5:14 pm

      “I’d like to see the breakdown in her numbers in terms of which settlements Americans are going to.” Wtf does it matter where these Americans are going? They’re American; and they’re going to illegal settlements (which the US government along with the whole of the international community agrees are illegal) on stolen land. I don’t give rat’s a*se if they’re going to old settlements, new settlements, poor settlements or rich settlements. What part of, “They shouldn’t be there” do you not understand? If they want to make Aliyah, fine. Make it to Israel; not to illegally-occupied Palestine.
      And, “Meirav Zonszein complained about these American aliyot; American aliyot have helped to make the cost of living in Israel unaffordable for many Israelis.” Habibi, before you cite such whines, do give a thought to the Schadenfreude –“ill winds” and all that – they give rise to among us readers, whether JINOs, self-haters or good, old-fashioned, anti-Semitic Goyim.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 31, 2015, 5:29 pm

        Make it to Israel; not to illegally-occupied Palestine

        Care to define which is the legally-occupied Palestine?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 1, 2015, 1:31 pm

        “Wtf does it matter where these Americans are going?”

        Because there’s a difference between places like Modi’in Illit, which is right near the Green Line and which most Palestinian leaders have no problem swapping out in the context of an agreement, and Kiryat Arba, which is in the middle of the West Bank.

      • James North
        James North
        September 1, 2015, 1:40 pm

        hophmi: Since when are you speaking for “most Palestinian leaders” about what they will “swop out?”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 1, 2015, 3:45 pm

        “Since when are you speaking for “most Palestinian leaders”

        Don’t be alarmed by his attitude! I would be imperious too, if I could speak for both “my people” (the Jews) and “most Palestinian leaders”. Now, that’s “outreach”!

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        September 2, 2015, 2:23 pm

        “Since when are you speaking for “most Palestinian leaders” about what they will “swop out?”

        Since the Clinton parameters and since the Abbas-Olmert negotiations. Since when do you deny that Palestinian leaders are amenable to a solution?

      • annie
        annie
        September 2, 2015, 3:41 pm

        it seems like hops is discounting their elected leaders when referencing “most palestinian leaders”.

    • talknic
      talknic
      September 4, 2015, 2:08 am

      @ hophmi August 31, 2015, 11:16 am
      “If Phil Weiss wanted to reduce the flow of young American orthodox Jews to Israel”

      Typical. Israel’s apologist jerks never stop conflating, twisting, moving goal posts. They’ll say anything rather than be honest.

      The illegal settlements aren’t in Israel you stupid stupid person

  13. piotr
    piotr
    August 31, 2015, 12:01 pm

    On a slightly related note, there is some stink that congressional ethics committee nixed an investigation of a large group of congressmen who accepted a lavish trip paid by a foreign country, namely the very friendly government of Azerbaijan. There is a surprisingly strong Azeri-Israeli connection, as both hate Armenians.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      September 1, 2015, 1:11 pm

      That is not why there is a strong Azeri-Israeli connection, Piotr. There is a strong Azeri-Israeli connection for many reasons, including the fact that Azerbaijan has a large Jewish population that has been treated exceptionally well by the Muslim majority in Azerbaijan.

      • piotr
        piotr
        September 3, 2015, 6:21 pm

        “Exceptionally well”? As opposed to some other minorities that were subjected to pogroms and exile?

        Israel sells arms to Azerbaijan which is in conflict with Armenia, and thus other western state refrain from selling arms there. And acrimonious attitudes to Armenians in Israel are documented. Thus those issues are quite related.

  14. Roberto
    Roberto
    August 31, 2015, 12:17 pm

    Why does Mr. Weiss think leftwings are uncapable of wrondoings? Leftwings were the first settlers in Palestine, who carried out the Nakba.
    Leftwings around the world have supported Chavez’s regime in Venezuela, a regime that destroyed the country and is guilty of abuses against Human Rights.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 31, 2015, 1:39 pm

      Considering that people here have different political orientations, it might be a good idea not to push a particular ideology if not with respect to Palestinian resistance. The fact that part of the Zionists called themselves “socialist” does not detract from the fact of the remarkable socialist and communist contribution to the Palestinian resistance.
      As for your attack on Chavez, I’ll observe that Chavez, his movement and his government have been steadfast supporters of the Palestinians, attracting the ire and the incitation and sabotage of Zionists in Tel Aviv, the US and Venezuela. That is who you seem to be aligning yourself with.

  15. JohnWV
    JohnWV
    September 1, 2015, 5:32 am

    Israel’s Rabbinical Authority sorts Jew from goy with emphasis on maternal bloodlines and marriage. Those adjudged not quite Jewish may be deported, incarcerated, disappeared, or relegated to one of the multiple levels of “citizenship” which may restrict everything from license plate color to travel, living location, employment, marriage, and due process. Bigoted? Me or all Israel?

    “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948,” Professor Steven Salaita, June 14, 2015

    • Fritz
      Fritz
      September 1, 2015, 8:32 am

      with emphasis on maternal bloodlines and marriage – you should add that conversion, by an orthodox rabbi and confirmed by the Chief Rabbinate is also sufficient for citizenship. The Zionist idea of citizenship differs somewhat from biological racism.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      September 1, 2015, 10:11 am

      Nah, you’re just uninformed. The Israeli rabbinate’s rules on conversion have nothing to do with who is accorded citizenship. All that is required is a Jewish grandparent, or marriage to someone with a Jewish grandparent.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 1, 2015, 11:21 am

        hophmi: All that is required is a Jewish grandparent …
        ————–

        And who defines who is a Jewish grandparent? What proof of Jewishness is required? Who certifies the Jewishness? Can any kind of conversion qualify a grandparent to be Jewish?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 4, 2015, 3:22 pm

        “All that is required is a Jewish grandparent…”

        And if you don’t have your own, simply get in touch with your local “Rent-A-Bubbe” store. Authenticity guaranteed. Available in a wide range of ethnic and denominational models.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      September 4, 2015, 2:43 pm

      @JohnWV

      Israel’s Rabbinical Authority sorts Jew from goy non-Jew with emphasis on…

      (The “g-word” is no longer de rigueur.)

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 4, 2015, 3:16 pm

        No reason for not using it. Goy = “nation” in its earlier meaning of gens (people, fratry) hence “gentile”. Nothing pejorative in calling people “people”.

  16. Fritz
    Fritz
    September 1, 2015, 11:26 am

    Thanks Hophmi.
    All that is required is a Jewish grandparent, or marriage to someone with a Jewish grandparent

    I tried to defend the laws of the state of Israel. However, You emphasizes the biological racist core of this laws. My point was citizenships for non-Jews. What is the way of non-Jews to citizenship of the state of Israel, when he / she has neither Jewish heritage nor is married to a Jew? Only conversion, what else?

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      September 1, 2015, 1:25 pm

      No, Fritz, you’re incorrect. Non-Jews would are the spouses of Jewish aliyot are eligible for citizenship through the Law of Return. Otherwise, non-Jews can and do apply for citizenship in Israel through naturalization. Citizenship is available to non-Jews who have been residents for three out of the previous five years.

      As far as the determination of who is a Jew for purposes of the Law of Return, it’s not the Rabbinate, but the Jewish Agency who makes the recommendation, where it is acted upon by the Interior Ministry. The requirement is simply a letter from a congregational rabbi. The rules are liberal, and meant to mirror Nuremberg Laws, which classified as a targeted Jew anyone with a Jewish grandparent; the idea is to provide protection for the same class.

      Most of the issues olim have with the Rabbinate occur with regard to issues handled by the rabbinate, such as marriage, but not to citizenship. This is beginning to change in Israel, as more and more people, including Modern Orthodox Jews, bypass the rabbinate.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 1, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Interesting article: “Genetic citizenship: DNA testing and the Israeli Law of Return”

        http://jlb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/16/jlb.lsv027.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=zdSlvz5nyvfNIVE

        Excerpts from the intro (emphasis added):
        ——————-

        “The Israeli State recently announced that it may begin to use genetic tests to determine whether potential immigrants are Jewish or not. This development would demand a rethinking of Israeli law on the issue of the definition of Jewishness.

        In this article, we discuss the historical and legal context of secular and religious definitions of Jewishness and rights to immigration in the State of Israel. We give a brief overview of different ways in which genes have been regarded as Jewish, and we discuss the relationship between this new use of genetics and the society with which it is co-produced. In conclusion, we raise several questions about future potential impacts of Jewish genetics on Israeli law and society.
        ———————-
        Masha Yakerson, like many of her Jewish, college-age peers, attempted to sign up for a Birthright Israel1 trip in the summer of 2013.2 Birthright told Yakerson, whose family is from Russia, that to prove that she was Jewish, and eligible for the trip, she would need to take a DNA test.3 Birthright claimed that the test was required by the Israeli consulate, and further that a DNA test would be required if Yakerson ever wanted to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel)

        […]After the news of this one student’s experience made headlines, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that many Jews from the Former Soviet Union (‘FSU’) are asked to provide DNA confirmation of their Jewish heritage in order to immigrate as Jews and become citizens under Israel’s Law of Return.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 1, 2015, 2:26 pm

        hophmi : As far as the determination of who is a Jew for purposes of the Law of Return, it’s not the Rabbinate, but the Jewish Agency who makes the recommendation…
        ——————

        Law of Return:

        4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.

        So, I am asking regarding the “grandparent clause”: if the Jewish grandparent became Jewish by means of conversion, do all forms of conversion qualify, or only Orthodox conversions?

      • amigo
        amigo
        September 1, 2015, 3:06 pm

        “Otherwise, non-Jews can and do apply for citizenship in Israel through naturalization. Citizenship is available to non-Jews who have been residents for three out of the previous five years. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/implicated-settlement-thought#comment-152832” Hopknee

        why would anyone want to become a citizen of a state that discriminates against them because they are not Jews.

        When your pip squeak tin pot nation enacts nationality laws like real democracies do , then come back and brag about Israel allowing citizenship .

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/recognize-nationality-endanger

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 1, 2015, 3:13 pm

        || amigo: … When your pip squeak tin pot nation enacts nationality laws like real democracies do , then come back and brag about Israel allowing citizenship . ||

        “What we have here is…failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get Israel as a religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State’, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”

        (With apologies to Strother Martin.)

      • Fritz
        Fritz
        September 1, 2015, 3:22 pm

        Citizenship is available to non-Jews who have been residents for three out of the previous five years.

        Thanks again for clarification. Some people, Christians, told me about their personal experience that it is nearly impossible to stay in Israel as a non-Jew for a number of years. You don’t get a work permit and many more bureaucratic obstacles, not to mention the standard comments by most Israelis: “What do You want here, if You aren’t Jewish.”

      • Kris
        Kris
        September 1, 2015, 3:35 pm

        @hophmi: “Citizenship is available to non-Jews who have been residents for three out of the previous five years.”

        Uh, huh. Israel makes citizenship “available” to non-Jews in the same way it makes building permits “available” to Palestinians.

        Israeli citizenship is designed very differently from the American model. Here, if you are born in the country or become an American citizen, you retain your citizenship unless you seek to renounce it. U.S. citizenship is not conditioned on ethnic or religious origin, and every citizen has the same rights and responsibilities.

        In Israel, it’s more complicated, with a variety of pathways to different categories of citizenship. All Jews in the world are eligible, under Israel’s 1950 Law of Return, to be fast-tracked to Israeli citizenship. And yet even citizenship for Jews is not simple.

        Those born to a Jewish father rather than mother or converted to Judaism by non-Orthodox rabbis may qualify for citizenship according to the Law of Return, but do not qualify as Jews in the eyes of Israel’s Ministry of Religious Affairs. Accordingly, they are precluded from marrying those registered by the ministry as Jewish because marriage in Israel is controlled by religious authorities. In fact, these Jews are, in some respects, accorded second-class citizenship in terms of their personal status.

        Palestinian Arabs and Druze born in Israel are citizens by birth. But residents of East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after the 1967 Six-Day War, are not. They are conditional residents, not citizens — conditional on living in East Jerusalem continuously or, for those able to travel abroad for the purposes of study or work, maintaining a regular return schedule to ensure their residency is not endangered.

        East Jerusalem Palestinians may apply for Israeli citizenship (with no guarantee of success), but the number who have had their permanent residency revoked by the Israeli government since 1967 is as large as the number who have been successful in attaining citizenship. For this reason, Palestinians in East Jerusalem live in constant fear of losing the right to live in their homes.

        Similarly grim are the prospects of citizenship for migrant workers in Israel, who come from places like Thailand and the Philippines. Often, their children speak Hebrew as their first language, attend Israeli schools and even do military service. But this does not qualify them for citizenship. Nor do the thousands of African refugees in Israel have a path to citizenship, or even access to social benefits such as healthcare and work permits, under a government that seeks to expel them as “infiltrators.” …. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/14/opinion/la-oe-myers-israel-citizenship-arabs-20140114

        And, of course, even if you are an Israeli citizen, Jewish “Israeli citizens” are privileged over non-Jewish “Israeli citizens:”

        …Zionist uses of the term “nation,” “national, ” and “nationality” are indeed difficult to understand and to explain because they derive from concepts that are unfamiliar to Americans. Moreover, their true meanings are deliberately obscured by usually incorrect translations from Hebrew into English.

        The prime example of deception, from which the others flow, is the accepted translation of Israel’s Law of Citizenship as “Nationality ” Law. In the original Hebrew text, the word isezrahut, the correct translation is “citizenship.”

        It would not occur to the average English peaking observer to object to translating ezrahut as “nationality” because “citizenship” and “nationality” are interchangeable terms in the United States, as well as in most democratic societies. In Israel, however, they are two separate and very different statuses. Citizenship (ezrahut) may be held by Arabs as well as Jews while nationality (le’um), which bestows significantly greater rights than citizenship, may be claimed by Jews alone.

        To refer to “Arab nationals,” as this law does, is a deceptive translation of ezrahut, because Arabs or others who are not Jews cannot be “nationals” of Israel. Only Jews can be “nationals.” Their nationality rights are granted by the Law of Return. No Israeli nationality applies to allcitizens, as does a US nationality in the United States or French nationality in France, for example. In Israel, there is only a Jewish nationality. That non-Jews cannot qualify for nationality rights in the state of Israel was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1972 in a statement that there is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people.

        The original mis-translation of ezrahut as “nationality” has been consistently repeated, successfully concealing the existence of the two legal statuses, with non-Jews eligible for only one. Like a virus introduced into a computer system, the error is continually replicated and now permeates most writings on the topic of nationality and national rights in Israel…. http://www.wrmea.org/1990-january/israel-s-two-tiered-citizenship-law-bars-non-jews-from-93-percent-of-its-lands.html

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        September 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

        …. http://www.wrmea.org/1990-january/israel-s-two-tiered-citizenship-law-bars-non-jews-from-93-percent-of-its-lands.html

        If any other nation treated the Jews as badly as Jews treat non-Jews in Israel, the screaming, kvetching, sobbing, and complaining would reach a sound level equivalent to the explosion of Krakatoa.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 1, 2015, 4:09 pm

        ” The rules are liberal, and meant to mirror Nuremberg Laws, which classified as a targeted Jew anyone with a Jewish grandparent; the idea is to provide protection for the same class.

        Thanks, Hophmi! Now I won’t have to sprinkle any filings on my corn-flakes, you just gave me my MDR of irony.
        But than again, if Zionists need a definition or a standard for Jewish, they should go to the guys who have studied the problem, and know what’s what with Jews.

      • tree
        tree
        September 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

        Non-Jews would are the spouses of Jewish aliyot are eligible for citizenship through the Law of Return.

        This is not true in the case of spouses who are Palestinian non-citizens, i.e. those from the West Bank or Gaza. Not only does Israel prevent these Palestinians from gaining citizenship, or even residency, if they marry Palestinian citizens of Israel, it also prevents Palestinian spouses of Israeli Jews from gaining citizenship as well as residency rights in Israel.

        Two well known examples of this are the husbands of Neta Golan, a well-known Israeli human rights activist and one of the founders of ISM, and Allegra Pacheco, an Israeli human rights lawyer. Both couples must reside in the Occupied Territories because they are not allowed to even live in Israel together.

        https://afsc.org/story/neta-golan

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 5, 2015, 6:02 pm

        “Israel’s Rabbinical Authority sorts Jew from goy non-Jew with emphasis on… “

        And as we can see by the palaver ensuing since then on the subject, it’s complicated. Perhaps a song set to a familiar (okay, if you are in the later stages of a decrepit senescence, like me, it’s familiar.) melody And now, sing along with the Chef Rabbi:

        “If you, were the only,
        Jew in the world,
        And she(he) was the only Goy,
        Nothing else would matter,
        you’d best keep away!
        Such tsuris you will have,
        After your wedding day!

  17. ckg
    ckg
    September 1, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Here is an exchange yesterday between Al Quds Daily correspondent Said Arikat and State Department spokesperson Mark Toner:

    QUESTION: — Palestinian-Israeli issue? There was a study issued by Oxford University and published in Haaretz yesterday that there are 60,000 American Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Do you have any comment on that?

    MR TONER: Sixty thousand?

    QUESTION: Sixty thousand American Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

    MR TONER: I don’t. I’m not aware of the study.

    QUESTION: I know because you guys – your position is —

    MR TONER: I just haven’t seen the study, frankly, so I don’t —

    QUESTION: — you oppose the settlements, you oppose – you consider them to be illegal and so on. But there you go – you have 60,000 Americans. Do you have any leverage with these American citizens?

    MR TONER: Look, I mean, in terms of leverage – I mean, we through our embassy offer support for American citizens throughout the world. But what – we’re very clear on our policy on this issue, and I don’t know that we need to be any clearer.

    QUESTION: Many elements among these settlers are extremists, they carry guns, they enforce their own sort of rules and regulations on roads and hamlets and so on – Palestinian hamlets. Do you have any kind of program, perhaps, to rehabilitate these settlers, bring them back somehow, as as opposed to the settlements?

    MR TONER: No, I mean – and the other thing is we’ve also spoken about the uptick in violence, in extremist violence in Israel. And in fact, the government and the prime minister have also spoken about some of the recent attacks that we view as abhorrent. And we call on, frankly, all sides to stop this kind of violence.

    In terms of programs, I’m not aware of what you’re – specific programs aimed at Israeli American settlers, no.

    QUESTION: Since I – my last question on this issue.

    MR TONER: Yeah, sure.

    QUESTION: Should the United States or would the United States have some sort of a program – an incentive program – to sort of encourage settlers to perhaps dismantle these settlements?

    MR TONER: I mean, that’s really a question for the Israeli Government to look at. I mean, we’ve been very clear on how we feel about settlements.

    QUESTION: Not really because they maintain their U.S. citizenship.

    MR TONER: Well, we believe that settlements hinder getting any kind of talks back up and running and peace process going. We want to see positive actions on all sides.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      September 1, 2015, 2:02 pm

      A very interesting exchange. These are the questions our MSM should be asking, if they had the spine to incur the wrath of their pro Israeli bosses.

      • ckg
        ckg
        September 1, 2015, 7:28 pm

        Mark Toner is clueless. Alicia Silverstone could do a better job.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      September 4, 2015, 3:22 pm

      Sounds like something Matt Lee would say.

  18. Pixel
    Pixel
    September 4, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I’m embarrassed to say that I have never, ever thought about this topic.

    It doesn’t really matter if only 3 people read Newsweek. What matters is that people (like me) learn and pass the info. along to others.

    It’s another ember of outrage that helps transport the fire.

    I mean, it’s one thing to talk about multinational corporations and another to talk about Americans whose extended families live right next door.

    Knowledge, itself, is the tinder nest within which wildfires of justice are fanned until they rage out of control.

  19. Boomer
    Boomer
    September 5, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Regarding the role of Americans in the conquest of Palestine, some may be interested in a new documentary, “Above and Beyond,” that tells the story of the “daring,” “testosterone-filled” Jewish-American aviators who joined the fight after WWII: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2704752/

  20. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    September 5, 2015, 5:13 pm

    Sure, it says black on white that they had to fight Buraq and the Holy Spirit before being able to heroically bomb and carbonize poorly armed ragtag troops and civilians.

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