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Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation

Israel/Palestine

In a groundbreaking new report, Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus of voices calling on countries to label goods made in the Israeli occupied territories as the products of settlements, and calls on countries to withhold aid to Israel that can be used to “offset the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements.” The report titled Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights puts pressure on a “multitude” of private companies to stop doing business in the occupied territories, because they are helping to sustain an illegal settlement project that deprives the Palestinian population of their human rights.

HRW says that businesses that are operating in the occupied territories are implicated in the occupation and directly benefit from Israel’s discriminatory policies:

It is Human Rights Watch’s view that by virtue of doing business in or with settlements or settlement businesses, companies contribute to one or more of these violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. Settlement businesses depend on and benefit from Israel’s unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources, and facilitate the functioning and growth of settlements. Settlement-related activities also directly benefit from Israel’s discriminatory policies in planning and zoning, the allocation of land, natural resources, financial incentives, and access to utilities and infrastructure. These policies result in the forced displacement of Palestinians and place Palestinians at an enormous disadvantage in comparison with settlers. Israel’s discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians have harmed the Palestinian economy and left many Palestinians dependent on jobs in settlements—a dependency that settlement proponents then cite to justify settlement businesses.

It calls on these businesses to cease these functions:

Human Rights Watch has advocated that certain types of businesses cease operating. That is the case for businesses engaged in activities related to Israeli settlements, since the Human Rights Watch research finds that such business activities contribute to abuses that are beyond the control of companies to mitigate.

The report includes several case studies that demonstrate how companies operating in the settlements benefit from and support the occupation. One case study is of the real estate brokerage franchise RE/MAX which has recently become the target of international BDS activists. The report reads:

By advertising, selling and renting homes in settlements, both the Israeli franchise of RE/MAX and RE/MAX LLC, the owner of the global franchise network, facilitate and benefit from the transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory and the associated human rights abuses, contravening their rights responsibilities. . . .

The RE/MAX Israel website, which is entirely in English and Hebrew, does not list any Arabic-speaking agents in Jerusalem or Ma’aleh Adumim, the area where most of its settlement properties are concentrated. Human Rights Watch spoke with one RE/MAX agent who has two properties listed in a settlement in East Jerusalem. “I don’t buy from or sell to Arabs. It’s not racism, I just prefer not to deal with [them],” he said. He said he doesn’t know whether this violates any RE/MAX policies, and added: “I just share the profits with them; we’re like partners. They can’t make me sell to anyone.”

HRW says its call to label settlement goods is in line with the European Union’s demand that goods from settlements that are exported to Europe be labeled as originating in settlements. And it says the U.S. has a similar policy, unexercised:

Since 1995, United States customs regulations have required goods originating in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such and specifically prohibit them from being labeled
However, US customs officials have not been enforcing these regulations for goods originating in Israeli settlements.

The human rights organization says that the recommendations are in line with earlier reports in which it urged businesses not to source diamonds from Zimbabwe, or energy resources from Sudan, or logging/mining products from Burma, also because of human rights violations. It says that the same principles have moved the EU to bar exports from the occupied Western Sahara and from Russian-occupied Crimea.

The recommendations are distinct from the BDS movement, and HRW says it takes no position on BDS, in a document it released with the report:

[H]ow does it relate to the BDS movement?
Human Rights Watch has not taken a position to support or oppose the call by some groups for consumers to boycott settlement goods or Israel at large

HRW also said that it recognizes that Palestinians get employment from these businesses, but it says that it spoke to many Palestinians who describe experiencing a “Catch-22.” They work for businesses that help to violate their rights and deprive them of employment on their own land. If the occupation were ended, the GNP of Palestine would go up, HRW says:

The World Bank estimates that if Israel lifted its restrictions on Palestinians in Area C (the area under Israel’s exclusive control), it would generate US$3.4 billion annually, raising the Palestinian GDP by one-third. Indeed, some of the Palestinian workers in settlement businesses used to work on their own land or in Palestinian businesses, but because of land confiscation, inadequate access to water, and discriminatory restrictions, they have lost their sources of livelihood and are relegated

You can read the full report here.

73 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 19, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Good for HRW. And so soon after the most recent EU action. Israel must be feeling the heat, and this makes me wonder which Israelis — if any — are beginning to feel that the settlements are not worth the cost.

    • Michael Rabb
      Michael Rabb
      January 20, 2016, 9:12 pm

      pabelmont I love your wry sense of sarcasm: wonder which Israelis are beginning to feel the settlements are not worth the cost ! ” Israel is a growing evil whose end is not in sight. The Israeli settlement policy, quite apart from its terrible effect on Palestinians, is outrageous for what it represents: a careful, deliberate rejection of peace, and a declaration of the fixed intention to dispossess the Palestinians until they have nothing left. ” Michael Neumann wrote this in 2002, before Cast Lead, before Pillar of Defense, before Operation Protective Edge killed thousands of Palestinians. There are now estimated 700,000 Jew settlers in the OPT.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      January 21, 2016, 12:13 am

      Pabelmont,

      I couldn’t find an estimate of the numbers of “settlers” who go there for dirt cheap gated-community life vs. those who settle out of ideology. Only the former would calculate the cost and start to worry, while the latter are expected to stay on the burning deck. I wouldn’t expect any of their governments to calculate costs, either. Financial or human.

  2. January 19, 2016, 12:56 pm

    HRW should have just provided a platform for Palestinians to present their ordeals due to Israeli occupation themselves, rather than acting on their behalf which slightly diminishes their credibility. However, I commend their actions and welcome further exposure of Israeli war crimes to the mainstream global audience.

    • bryan
      bryan
      January 20, 2016, 3:55 am

      White Americans should never have campaigned alongside Black Americans within the Civil Rights movement because that undermined the cause??? Gentiles should never campaign against anti-semitism and discrimination against minorities because by so doing they “diminish the credibility of the cause”??? No man is an island and we all have moral responsibilities to care for our fellows, and indeed our freedom and the health of our societies is undermined by blatant injustice of all types, but more particularly, as this report makes clear, when we unwillingly made complicit in the injustices.

      • January 20, 2016, 5:52 am

        @Bryan, injustice means placing things where they are not meant to be. White men are not in the same position of black men in America, so their path to justice are not the same. Let blacks lead their own struggles, no need to co-opt their activism and take over their narratived.

        LBJ once said that lowest white man craves the ability to look down on the best black man so much so that he is willing to pay any amount they have for the chance. The government knows this and exploit it to maintain their hegemony on the stolen American land, without considering the long term implications of unearned privilege for the larger white community. It is like allowing the village idiots to outbreed the rest of town folks just because they provide you with easy votes to secure your hold on the town. Eventually you will just end up with a town full of idiots unable to sustain any form of civil activity, leading to societal collapse.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 20, 2016, 11:14 am

        “because that undermined the cause???”

        “bryan” the way ‘Overton’s window’ moves around, flips back and forth and opens and closes with “rugal b”, I don’t know whether I’m in a front-loader or a fishbowl when I read his comments.
        If it’s a front-loader, it’s on the “long wash and extra rinse” cycle.

      • bryan
        bryan
        January 21, 2016, 2:14 pm

        I think I can see what you might be getting at, Rugalb. Your suggesting that had Lyndon Johnson been listened to the ex-slave owners, corporate monopolists and assorted wasps would have maintained their hold on society. Ergo no Obama. Ergo no bunch of village idiots contesting the 2016 Presidential election?

      • January 22, 2016, 1:01 am

        @Bryan,

        You still are refusing to get it. Obama is the proof why we all benefit from a just system. He is an offspring of two exceptionally bright individuals, raised in a intellectually and spiritually conducive environment, by people who are equally as intelligent and spiritual. Naturally, he went on to become the greatest president ever, of the USA. In hind sight, it is obvious why and how it happened. He is a living manifestation of a just system, from the circumstances of his birth, to his childhood, his path to adulthood which molded him to become the person he is today.

        Compare him to a person like Donald Trump or Jeb Bush or any other of the GOP candidates, and you can see that there is a deeper issue here. These people, who are the scum of the Earth pretty much anywhere else, are being put forward to hold the same office, as President Obama. This is white supremacy in its rawest form, in which a lowest white person can confidently campaign for holding a position that is reserved for the best of us, black or white.

  3. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    January 19, 2016, 2:25 pm

    Zionism survived earthquakes, deadly vipers and scorpions, malaria, attacks by hostile Arabs, pogroms, World Wars, political assassinations, psychotic leaders, the Nazis, the Holocaust, four wars with the Arab States, two Lebanon wars, Hezbollah, Iran, international terrorism from the PLO, Baader-Meinhoff, the Japanese Red Army, etc, etc.

    Do you really think Phil Weiss and BDS are going to bring Zionism to it’s knees?
    Is that what you really think?

    • annie
      annie
      January 19, 2016, 3:01 pm

      jack, yes i do.

      • Kris
        Kris
        January 19, 2016, 10:08 pm

        So do I, based on the startling changes in the attitudes of people in my community. People who would never have dared to breathe a criticism of Israel only a few years ago, now say that Israel is a financial liability, they feel ashamed that the U.S. is Israel’s enabler, and they are furious that our government represents Israel’s interests, not our own.

        Not only are people actually saying these things, they are saying them in places where they might well be overheard saying them–places like grocery stores, the public library, and coffee shops.

        You would have to understand small-town life to realize how amazing this is.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 19, 2016, 3:26 pm

      || Jackdaw: Zionism survived earthquakes, deadly vipers and scorpions, malaria, attacks by hostile Arabs, pogroms, World Wars, political assassinations, psychotic leaders, the Nazis, the Holocaust, four wars with the Arab States, two Lebanon wars, Hezbollah, Iran, international terrorism from the PLO, Baader-Meinhoff, the Japanese Red Army, etc, etc. Do you really think Phil Weiss and BDS are going to bring Zionism to it’s knees? … ||

      Maybe not. As you’ve pointed out, evil is disturbingly resilient.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        January 19, 2016, 4:09 pm

        Baader-Meinhof? The Red Army? And didn’t Israel start those wars in Lebanon?

        His list is hardly an example of fortitude.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 20, 2016, 6:17 am

        Blah Chick,
        His list gives you a fair idea of how the Zionists indoctrinate their young. Another planet.

    • Jasonius Maximus
      Jasonius Maximus
      January 19, 2016, 3:58 pm

      Yes, I do think it will work. Because in the end money talks and BS walks.

      You can’t fight wars and maintain military occupations without weapons and money. Lots of weapons and money. When that soon to be $4.5 billion per annum dries up (and it eventually will), when the U.S. and Germany stop supplying Israel with Tanks and F-16s and one ton bombs, and laser guided missles and DIME munitions and ships and submarines and artillery and Humvees and Apache Helicopters and Iron Domes and David’s Slings and Arrow missle defense systems. When that not-so-secret nuclear arsenal is either declared or neutralized in accordance with international requirements. The Israeli government will be left with only two choices, almost complete physical and economic defenselessness from foreign and domestic pressure and threats or drastic change in policy in accordance with international laws and human rights expectations.

      South Africa was practically invincible at the height of Apartheid. They were oppressing almost eight times as many people in a country almost 237 times larger than the West Bank. This by a white population of less than 4 million people from which to draw on (men only) for military military service. Not to mention they were at the same time fighting wars in Angola, South West Africa (now Namibia) and Mozambique, with covert operations in a myriad of other countries in the region. Yet ultimately their military strength and ingenuity came to naught in the face of economic and social isolation and sanctions. Naught!

      So go ahead and scoff, if you like, at the boy with the stone and sling. I shouldn’t need to tell you how that tale ended for Goliath…

    • lonely rico
      lonely rico
      January 19, 2016, 4:05 pm

      >Jackdaw

      Do you really think Phil Weiss and BDS are going to bring Zionism to it’s knees?

      Perhaps not Jackdaw.
      Maybe it’s not Philip, Adam, Annie. eljay and the other fierce advocates for justice in Palestine here at MW who are going to “bring Zionism to it’s knees”.
      But they’re helping.

      What will be fatal for the cruel violent colonization of Palestine is the racist corruption found at the heart of Zionism.

      There you have it –

      BDS and MW eating from the outside in,
      while the racist rot eats from the inside out.

      Future not looking rosy for your barbarous malevolent project in Palestine Mr. Jackdaw.

    • amigo
      amigo
      January 19, 2016, 4:55 pm

      “Zionism survived earthquakes, deadly vipers and scorpions,”jackduh.

      Communism survived Mc Carthy, Regan, Nixon, Churchill , et al and where is it now.

      Ooooh, it,s going to be fun watching zionism go down and taking all it,s vipers and scorpzions with it.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      January 19, 2016, 5:12 pm

      @jack

      Then stop worrying about it jack. Go have a coffee and share a few racist rants with your close friends. Oh and tell your fellow travellers to stop whining about BDS since you think it’s such a joke.

      Ps… I’m not sure zionism has so much survived psychotic leaders as made it a key requirement to be one of it’s leaders.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 19, 2016, 6:24 pm

      Sure can’t hurt..

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 19, 2016, 7:39 pm

      @ Jackdaw does Ziodrivel 101

      “Zionism survived earthquakes, deadly vipers and scorpions, malaria”

      Interesting theory. Please explain

      “attacks by hostile Arabs”

      Another interesting theory. However, no Arab state has ever invaded the territory of the the Zionist Movement‘s state. The Arab states as Regional Powers, had and still have the right to attempt to expel Israeli forces from non-Israeli territories in the region. That’s why there are no UNSC resolutions against those attempts

      ” pogroms, World Wars, political assassinations, psychotic leaders, the Nazis, the Holocaust, four wars with the Arab States, two Lebanon wars, Hezbollah, Iran, international terrorism from the PLO, Baader-Meinhoff, the Japanese Red Army, etc, etc”

      Even more interesting theories. Care to show examples of the above against Zionism … I’ll wait … thxzzzzzz

      It appears as though in your opinion rather being a vile pyramid scheme that requires more and more territory, Zionism is now miraculously, a state. There’s plenty of evidence that Zionists despise the law, Jews (it purposefully endangers them by encouraging and even financing them to illegally settle in non-Israeli territories) There’s also plenty of evidence that Zionism hates anyone and anything that gets in its way, even Jewish folk of conscience, however I can’t find any evidence of it being anything other than a pathological ‘state’ of mind

      “Do you really think Phil Weiss and BDS are going to bring Zionism to it’s knees?
      Is that what you really think?”

      Why are you here?

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      January 19, 2016, 8:07 pm

      According to many experts Israel is already on it’s knees. Why do you think they are struggling hard, and twisting arms, and pleading with EU nations, to stop the BDS movement? If they had no fear they would not be sending their minions to stop the BDS movements in American colleges and other institutions.

      “However, there are signs that Israel’s disquiet over BDS is genuine. This week an Israeli financial newspaper covered a leaked government report estimating that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year. The estimate included lower exports from the settlements in keeping with the EU’s plans to begin labelling goods made there — not part of the BDS movement, although many Israelis lump the two things together. The Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/could-israel-billion#sthash.vhJiQeDl.dpuf

      Things have got worse for the colonists since that MDW article, with the EU now pushing for labels from stolen lands. Yeah, Phil Weiss is helping too. MDW has readers in many nations.

    • italian ex-pat
      italian ex-pat
      January 19, 2016, 9:25 pm

      @ jackdaw

      “Zionism survived earthquakes, vipers and scorpions, malaria, World Wars, etc. etc. . . .”

      So, science tells us, did cockroaches. Been around for millions of years, due to their ability to survive any geological cataclism, and really, really tough to get rid of once they’ve taken hold of your home.
      Was that your point?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        January 20, 2016, 9:07 am

        Like the cockroach, the Jews are still around
        We are not the Afrikaners.

        Neither Israel nor the Jews will last forever. That’s a given.

        I just know that anyone reading won’t see the end of the Jewish State in their lifetime.

      • annie
        annie
        January 20, 2016, 1:21 pm

        I just know…

        uh huh

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 20, 2016, 1:35 pm

        || Jackdaw: … I just know that anyone reading won’t see the end of the Jewish State in their lifetime. ||

        You may be right, and it’s a damned shame:
        – that the hatefulness and immorality of Zio-supremacism and the “Jewish State” project will continue to exist;
        – that its victims will continue to be denied justice, accountability and equality; and
        – that people like you exist who will continue to rejoice in the evil you have wrought.

      • Kris
        Kris
        January 20, 2016, 2:50 pm

        @Jackdaw: “I just know that anyone reading won’t see the end of the Jewish State in their lifetime.”

        Apparently “know,” like “anti-semitism,” has no real meaning.

      • diasp0ra
        diasp0ra
        January 20, 2016, 6:24 pm

        @Jackdaw

        You should know better than to state things like that.

        Political analysts were writing in the late 1980s about how Eastern Europe will never be free in their lifetimes from Soviet influence.

        People thought Mubarak was the bastion of stability and resilience.

        These are just a couple of examples how nobody knows what will/can happen. States are more fickle and fragile than people think, and if 2011 taught us anything, it is that sweeping changes can swarm a whole region within weeks out of nowhere.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        January 21, 2016, 12:11 am

        @diasp0ra

        Whatever pathologies it may have, however dysfunctional it may appear, Israeli society is actually remarkably cohesive.

        Even today, Jews are buying one-way tickets and emigrating here from the Ukraine and France.

        Israelis are making babies and building homes. They’re staying put.
        Sorry.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        January 21, 2016, 12:21 am

        “Like the cockroach, the Jews are still around”
        Huh? I thought only Nazis compared Jews to vermin. BTW – speak for yourself as in “Like the cockroach, I’m still around”. Thanks and please leave the crystal ball readings to the “experts”.

      • diasp0ra
        diasp0ra
        January 22, 2016, 2:14 pm

        @Jackdaw

        I don’t know what you’re implying with your “sorry”, but I never said that Israelis are going anywhere. The Jewish state is an entirely different question, that nobody can really guarantee.

        Did the Egyptians suddenly disappear after the Arab spring? Or the Tunisians? Similarly, the people referred to as Israelis today aren’t going anywhere.

        But I never spoke about the Israelis, or the Jews or whatever label you thought I was talking about.

        Israel as a regime is what I meant.

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 22, 2016, 3:46 pm

        || Jackdaw: … Israelis are making babies and building homes. They’re staying put. … ||

        Nothing wrong with Israelis – Jews and “demographic threat” non-Jews alike – making babies and building homes, as long as they do it within the legitimate / Partition borders of their state.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” has to go.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      January 20, 2016, 1:01 am

      It already is. And if it wasn’t having any impact, none of you bots would be here. It’s amazing how it works too. I sent my sister a gift that was made by Palestinians. She has more information now than she had before and because she’s starting to see the situation, she will never purchase an israeli product. Neither will her husband or her grown children who are disgusted with the occupation. Their friends will do the same thing and, well, it just goes from there Jackdaw. Awesome isn’t it! It’s slow, but it’s steady. And all thanks really belong to people like you. You and the right wing israeli public who elected the most right wing government in israeli history. This has all been made possible by the heroic efforts of Benjamin NetanYAHOO, “Bucky” Bennett, Snake Charmer Shaked, Danny (not the yogurt!) Danon and a host of others, going all the way back to that little sweetie Theodore Herzl, who couldn’t decide between Uganda or Argentina!

      Congratulations Jackdaw and thanks so much for your continued efforts to ensure that BDS will bring the zionist enterprise smack down onto it’s very well-padded knees. Shalom brother!

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        January 21, 2016, 6:10 am

        “Israelis are making babies and building homes. They’re staying put. Sorry.”

        Not for much longer Jackdaw. There will be a reckoning.

    • bryan
      bryan
      January 20, 2016, 4:16 am

      A little bit ungrateful surely to the Hebrew God that the land he promised you was threatened by the presence of “earthquakes, deadly vipers and scorpions, malaria”? But you are right about one thing – Zionism has always depended upon its “psychotic leaders” to preserve unity by painting everything as an existential peril. Perhaps if Zionism could select better leaders it would not merely have survived, but thrived, and perhaps Israel might have become a normal country instead of a universally denigrated basket case.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        January 20, 2016, 6:02 am

        Bryan, I disagree. Zionism by its definition is all wrong and no matter who’s driving, the impact will remain the same – subjugation of a people and theft of their land.

      • bryan
        bryan
        January 21, 2016, 2:03 pm

        Sorry – Marnie I cannot accept that any political philosophy supported by millions is either all good or all bad; each will have numerous shades of thought and approach. Socialism has a pretty poor record but there have been great clear-thinking, principled socialists. American Republicanism has become a caricature of itself, constantly appealing to the lowest common denominator of irrational bigotry, but even some Republicans have made some sense on some issues. Some of the cultural and labour Zionists had some scruples before revisionism overtook the movement. Thus I insist that if Zionism having attained its state had honoured its Declaration of Independence, had turned its back on militarism and ethnic-cleansing, adopted democracy, diplomacy and international law, it could have created a thriving society, rather than, as Jackdaw maintains, merely surviving on a life-support system maintained by its American supporters.

      • annie
        annie
        January 21, 2016, 4:56 pm

        Thus I insist that if Zionism having attained its state had honoured its Declaration of Independence, had turned its back on militarism and ethnic-cleansing, adopted democracy, diplomacy and international law, it could have created a thriving society

        i tend to agree bryan. but i also think it’s fairgame to judge and regard zionism purely by the way it acts vs the philosophy. had cultural zionism (or any zionism) ever flourished devoid of all those negative aspects it might be different but that didn’t happen. whereas you can see positive effects of socialism in many parts of the world. zionism is young and younger than socialism. if it is to have redeeming features without all the pain and suffering that’s always accompanied the state, it better start showing it otherwise i see no justification for propping it up and no justification for its continued existence no matter how much i may recognize that existence which is an entirely different thing. and no matter how many millions of people might support or like it.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        January 21, 2016, 5:38 pm

        I do think that millions of people can believe something that is completely good or completely bad – or not far short of completely. There’s not too much wrong, to look on the brighter side, with the moral aspects of the 10 commandments.
        I take Zionism, to look on the darker side, to be the belief that Jewish people, and they only, have an inherent right (birthright) to a share of sovereignty in the Holy Land, others only by the grace and generosity of the true heirs. I think that this is completely false and stood no chance of being implemented and turned into practical reality without extreme and continuing cruelty.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 21, 2016, 6:04 pm

        “Marnie I cannot accept that any political philosophy supported by millions is either all good or all bad”

        If the core concept of the ideology is bad, then I would expect that all shades of that ideology would be bad, although some might be worse than others.

        “Socialism has a pretty poor record ”

        Socialism has a pretty good record in many parts of the world. Socialist influence has made North West Europe the destination of choice for refugees.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 22, 2016, 2:31 am

        Annie,

        …regard zionism purely by the way it acts vs the philosophy

        Absolutely right. Any philosophy, at that.
        but

        had cultural zionism (or any zionism) ever flourished devoid of all those negative aspects it might be different

        That, now, perpetuates Zionist myths: “Cultural Z” was no different in principle, as it does involve a move to Palestine by strangers intending to exerting sovereignty in whatever measure. In fact, it explicitly requested a Zionist invasion of Palestine (only Palestine, no Uganda or Patagonia) so as to be a majority to demographically and culturally flood the place with East European aliens speaking a constructed language; not necessarily a state, as the high state authority was imperial Ottoman anyway, allowing autonomous less-than-state units within. Flushing out the locals from Palestine would be their oohso modest goal. These guys were in fact at the head of the WZO in the early 20th Century.
        These are just intra-Zionist divergences that don’t make a significant difference to others who have to suffer from it (like the libZios today.)

      • bryan
        bryan
        January 22, 2016, 6:44 am

        Roha – “Socialism has a pretty poor record” Please forgive my sloppy wording: I meant “has a pretty poor reputation” – the record is in fact outstanding; just about every initiative that has improved life in, for instance, Britain in the last two centuries, including community activism, the trade unions, workers’ education, the extension of the ballot, municipal services, town planning and environmental and health and safety improvements, national insurance, public provision of healthcare, housing and education, the minimum wage, social reforms including penal reform, the abolition of capital punishment, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, measures against discrimination in all forms, etc., etc. has been pioneered by socialists, labourites, and their fellow travellers, and obstructed and resisted by the right.

        My concern was with the use of portmanteau labels, which are then cast in black or white. Socialist is clearly one (Bernie Saunders can be discredited with a substantial sector of the American population by accusing him of socialism when he merely advocates constructive state intervention and a higher degree of egalitarianism than the Trumpeters who dominate American public life). But I also worry that the view that only good Zionist is a dead one obstructs a more nuanced discussion on this site, and others.

        For instance, I admire Gideon Levy as an honest, courageous and very principled man but he can be labelled (and thus condemned) as a Zionist: For instance: “Who is a Zionist?
        The truth is that there is no answer. Not because Zionism was not a just cause – it was, even if it was tainted by unnecessary injustices, and not because it didn’t succeed. It was the greatest national success story of the 20th century…” But he proceeds, decrying facile labelling: “Am I a Zionist? How shall I answer? If Zionism is settling in the territories then I am anti-Zionist. If Zionism is continuing the occupation then I am non-Zionist. And if Zionism is the Jewish people’s right to a state, just like the Palestinian people’s right to a state, including at least partial correction of the injustice done to them in 1948, then I too am a Zionist. If Zionism is striving for a democratic state, then in that case too I am a Zionist, son of a Zionist.” See http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/after-115-years-it-s-time-for-zionism-to-retire-1.426843

        I have considerable difficulty accepting “the Jewish people’s right to a state” (in Palestine) that he refers to, and see huge difficulties with all the usual alibis (God, ancestral, religious or cultural connection, Balfour Declaration, decisions by L of N and UN, and Holocaust) but the fact is SOI exists and isn’t going anywhere, though hopefully it will be transformed. But smearing every Israeli as an occupying, thieving, ethnic-cleansing Zionist is no more legitimate than smearing every Moslem as backward, intolerant, and potentially a violent Jihadi.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 22, 2016, 2:35 pm

        “But I also worry that the view that only good Zionist is a dead one obstructs a more nuanced discussion on this site,”

        Ah, so you think that view (“the view that only good Zionist is a dead one”) predominates here, to the point of impeding the discussion?

        And without providing a single cite? Maybe you should see the “about” page.

        “Not because Zionism was not a just cause – it was…”

        Oh, I see. Never mind. Sorry.

      • annie
        annie
        January 22, 2016, 8:24 pm

        echin, i’m not perpetuating any myths one type of zionism is any different in principle from another. but if you’re going to lecture me on not using the term, it won’t work. i’ll use it whenever i want if it applies to my point.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 23, 2016, 12:21 am

        Annie,

        Perhaps it wasn’t clear. There’s no lecture; the observation refers to your “had cultural zionism (or any zionism) ever flourished devoid of all those negative aspects it might be different” observing that cultural Zionism was not devoid of any of those negative aspects, already at its un-flourished state and with the practice shown when they were leading the WZO.
        Now, I don’t see where there was a lecture about using a term, or which term. Not important but no reason to get upset about what I didn’t even address.

      • annie
        annie
        January 23, 2016, 3:33 pm

        i’m not upset, but you’re extracting some meaning that isn’t there and never was. for what purpose i have no idea.

        and yes, this is definitely lecture and offers nothing i don’t already know:

        “Cultural Z” was no different in principle, as it does involve a move to Palestine by strangers intending to exerting sovereignty in whatever measure. In fact, it explicitly requested a Zionist invasion of Palestine (only Palestine, no Uganda or Patagonia) so as to be a majority to demographically and culturally flood the place………etc

        i never implied cultural zionism was benign. there are all these supposedly different kinds of zionism but they all amount to the same thing in the end. cultural zionism is distinguished somewhat because of (according to wiki)

        The main goal of Ahad Ha’am’s cultural Zionism was the establishment of a new spiritual center for the Jewish nation, which did not necessarily require the establishment of a Jewish state, but did require the establishment of a Jewish majority in its national home.[2]

        so there’s this idea of a “spiritual” and “cultural” center focus which implies some sort of moral-ness of judaism attached to the image of it.. kind of a beinart niceness about it — an ideal so to speak.

        so my point was, if, through some miracle of morals, anything resembling this cultural-ness had ever flourished — devoid of all those negative aspects (like ethnic cleansing! and occupation!) — it might be different.

        and that’s what i meant. that’s what i still mean. i don’t mean cultural zionism was ever anything it wasn’t. it was sold as some good thing, but any solution that required a jewish majority in palestine is inherently flawed from the get go…no matter what its spiritual or cultural intentions.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 23, 2016, 5:16 pm

        All right Annie, it looks like one of these misunderstandings that aren’t worth all the analyzing of unsaids and half-saids it would take to unravel. I still don’t get exacty what the reproach is about but ask to let it fly to avoid molehill-mountain etc.

        Just one side note, not relevant to the messy discussion:
        When it says: “…which did not necessarily require the establishment of a Jewish state, but did require the establishment of a Jewish majority in its national home”, that Wikipedia article neglects to specify that all this was during the Ottoman Empire. That is, an area within the Empire where the invaders are a majority –necessarily by the grace of an Imperial firman and official protection. That is way, way better than an independent state: the Empire takes care of all the military and police for you, shielding you from the locals; the settlers themselves would have been in part immune from Ottoman law thanks to the consular privileges in use at the time in the Empire, as citizens (then “subjects”) of Western European powers and the Russian empire –double whammy.

    • xanadou
      xanadou
      January 20, 2016, 10:27 pm

      Yes.
      The movement is quickly spreading and may soon include the American Anthropological Association, and World Medical Association:
      http://m.jpost.com/#article=6017NkVFQzc2NkVGQzVDMEVBQTg0MUM2NzUwQjE1MUMyQ0E=

  4. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    January 19, 2016, 3:16 pm

    Note to Philip & Adam –

    Since 1995, United States customs regulations have required goods originating in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such and specifically prohibit them from being labeled [as originating in Israel].

    However, US customs officials have not been enforcing these regulations for goods originating in Israeli settlements.
    Why is this?
    Have they received directives not to label them as such?
    If so by whom?

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      January 19, 2016, 6:25 pm

      Interesting tidbit

    • Les
      Les
      January 19, 2016, 8:48 pm

      This customs violation should be joined with the Abdel Aziz v. Treasury lawsuit.

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      January 20, 2016, 6:06 am

      That is very interesting. The question should be why are these regulations not followed, and who is behind this lapse?

      Time the rules and regulations of this land were followed, and that stinky illegal goods from illegal settlement areas halted from poisoning our markets. The regulations are in place, so why are they not followed.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        January 29, 2016, 12:07 am

        HRW: Since 1995, United States customs regulations have required goods originating in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such and specifically prohibit them from being labeled. However, US customs officials have not been enforcing these regulations for goods originating in Israeli settlements.

        ————————

        Update:

        U.S. Customs recently released a statement reminding American importers that goods produced in the West Bank must be labeled as such, and not as products of Israel.

        “…goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ ‘Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank and Gaza,’ or ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.’,” the statement said, adding that “it is not acceptable” to mark such goods with the words “Israel,” “Made in Israel,” “Occupied Territories-Israel,” or any variations thereof.

        The statement was released on January 23, and was a reminder of an existing regulation dating back from 1995, which states that failure to mark such products “shall result in the levy of a duty of 10 percent of the product’s value,” the Forward reported.

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.700186

  5. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    January 19, 2016, 5:15 pm

    While I am in favour of both boycotts and divestment what is really needed, and justified, is sanctions. Nothing less.

    While it may qualify as a state it resembles a criminal enterprise so much more.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      January 19, 2016, 5:39 pm

      We’ll get there, buddy.

      When compared to South Africa, the boycott of Israel is gaining traction much faster.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        January 19, 2016, 6:17 pm

        Not fast enough but it is inevitable unless Israel change it’s lawless nature. Sad so many more innocents will have their lives ruined while zionists try avoid the obvious end result.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      January 19, 2016, 7:57 pm

      Reminds me of a Mafia nation….operates by intimidation, thuggery, executions, and extracting money from reluctant victims.

  6. MaxNarr
    MaxNarr
    January 19, 2016, 7:50 pm

    This is ridiculous. Israel will defeat BDS just like we defeated the rocket threat. Don’t underestimate the strength and perseverance of the Jewish people! We have returned home and we will cling to our land.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 19, 2016, 8:18 pm

      “This is ridiculous…/…cling to our land.”

      Where did that bizarre outburst come from? Oh yeah… Afn gonif brennt das hittel.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 19, 2016, 8:37 pm

      || MaxNarr: This is ridiculous. Israel will defeat BDS just like we defeated the rocket threat. Don’t underestimate the strength and perseverance of the Jewish people! We have returned home and we will cling to our land. ||

      1. Why do you insist on anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel? (hophmi, you seeing this, yes?)

      2. Why do you hate the 20% of Israelis who are non-Jews?

      3. Every empire – whether it’s a “Thousand Year Reich” or a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – eventually falls. Keep that box of tissues nearby. :-(

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 19, 2016, 8:48 pm

      @ MaxNarr “This is ridiculous”

      Indeed. Why did you say it

      “.Israel will defeat BDS just like we defeated the rocket threat”

      No more home made and largely ineffective rockets fired into Israel? AMAZING! https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Rockets+fired+into+Israel+%222016%22 Best you tell Israeli officials

      ” Don’t underestimate the strength and perseverance of the Jewish people! “

      Indeed Max. We survived without Israel and we survived without illegally acquiring other folks territories for centuries. Jewish people of good conscience will eventually defeat the vile Zionist regime in Jerusalem, only then will Israel have peace

      “We have returned home and we will cling to our land.”

      Wonderful Max. Now how about Israel f&ck off out of all non-Israeli territories for once

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      January 19, 2016, 9:50 pm

      @maxie

      More veiled threats maxi? Planning on mowing the lawn in other countries? Should we be worried?

    • Qualtrough
      Qualtrough
      January 19, 2016, 11:01 pm

      @MaxNarr — You against just about the entire world. Good luck with that you thieves!

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      January 20, 2016, 6:08 am

      You can cling all you want to your land, just don’t cling to lands that are stolen and belong to others.

      BDS will never be defeated – ask South Africa.

    • xanadou
      xanadou
      January 20, 2016, 10:44 pm

      Strength and perseverance prevailed thanks to a great many non-Jews who had risen to the occasion and followed their conscience. The same one that today makes those same demands on the conscience of their heirs as we acknowledge and lend a hand in support of the strength and perseverance of the Palestinians.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 21, 2016, 8:49 am

      MaxNarr is just another Jew who believes that Jews have a natural right to expell and disposess Nonjews.

    • bryan
      bryan
      January 22, 2016, 7:13 am

      We will cling on and suck the blood from Palestine, just like a leech clings to your arm. You have got a way with words, Max!

  7. just
    just
    January 20, 2016, 6:59 am

    Interesting,. And that’s putting it mildly:

    “Former Netanyahu aide calls US ambassador ‘little Jew boy’

    State Department backs Daniel Shapiro after he said Israel applies law in West Bank differently to Palestinians and Israelis

    … Shapiro was also publicly lambasted on Israeli television on Tuesday by a former aide to Netanyahu who used the deeply offensive Hebrew word “yehudon” – which translates as “little Jew boy” – to disparage the ambassador. The term is used by rightwing Israelis against other Jews – particularly those in the diaspora – whom they regard as not being sufficiently Jewish or pro-Israel.

    Netanyahu has described Shapiro’s comments as unacceptable and wrong, while the justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, has suggested that they were inappropriate and Shapiro should recant them.

    “We are being subjected to a terrorist onslaught that is simply unfamiliar to the United States, and to pass judgment on us in such a one-sided manner is wrong,” Shaked told Army Radio. “It would be appropriate if he corrected himself, and I hope he does that.”

    As the row continued into a third day, US State Department spokesman John Kirby insisted the ambassador was reiterating US policy on Israeli settlement construction. Kirby was speaking after a private meeting between Shapiro and Netanyahu to attempt to paper over the differences.

    “Our long-standing position on settlements is clear. We view Israeli settlements activity as illegitimate and counterproductive to the cause of peace. We remain deeply concerned about Israel’s current policy on settlements including construction, planning and retroactive legalisations,” he said.

    The latest row comes against a backdrop of escalating tensions between Israel and various countries and international political groupings.

    Last year, Netanyahu’s government reduced diplomatic contacts with EU officials following a decision to recommend that member states label products produced in illegal Israeli settlements.

    The Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, has effectively been declared persona no grata in Israel after calling for an investigation into whether recent shootings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces amounted to extrajudicial executions. Israeli officials said her comments were “delirious”, while Netanyahu called them “outrageous”.

    Israel also strongly condemned the decision this week by the EU foreign council to take up a new resolution strongly critical of continued Israeli settlement.

    Israel finds itself facing renewed criticism from the European Union for the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a complaint that Shapiro echoed.

    In remarks at a security conference on Monday – regarded as a showcase event for Israeli politicians and senior security officials – Shapiro said: “Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities, too much vigilantism goes unchecked, and at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.”

    Kirby explicitly rejected Israeli claims that EU labelling of settlement products amounted to a boycott of Israel. “We do not view labelling the origin of products as being from the settlements a boycott of Israel. We also do not believe that labelling the origin of products is equivalent to a boycott.”

    Media pundit Aviv Bushinsky, who served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff when he was finance minister in Ariel Sharon’s government, made the remarks on an Israeli political show.

    “Nobody was standing there with a hammer forcing him [Shapiro] to say it,” he said on the programme.

    “I see a Jew, Dan Shapiro, saying this. I see it as a pattern – it was the same thing with [former US Middle East envoy] Dennis Ross and now with [former US ambassador to Israel] Martin Indyk saying his nonsense. It’s the behaviour of Jews who are trying to show that they are extra leftwing, more liberal and more balanced.”

    Some Israeli commentators saw it as no coincidence that Shapiro’s remarks were made so soon after the lifting of sanctions against Iran and at such a high-profile forum.

    Writing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shimon Shiffer said: “Shapiro’s comments … are significant in that they suggest the Obama administration will no longer tolerate human rights violations by our decision-makers against Palestinians in the West Bank. From the perspective of the White House, ‘enough is enough’.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/20/netanyahu-aide-calls-us-ambassador-little-jew-boy-in-escalating-row

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      January 20, 2016, 9:25 am

      “… Shapiro was also publicly lambasted on Israeli television on Tuesday by a former aide to Netanyahu who used the deeply offensive Hebrew word “yehudon” – which translates as “little Jew boy” – to disparage the ambassador. The term is used by rightwing Israelis against other Jews – particularly those in the diaspora – whom they regard as not being sufficiently Jewish or pro-Israel.”

      Oy vey, seems all the millions of dollars wasted on birth right trips and brainwashing programs, for young Jewish Americans, are not working out the way the zionists want it to.

      I hope Ambassador Shapiro does not get intimated by zionists who have a nasty habit of attacking anyone from the diaspora, who have the good sense to see through the zionist BS, are able to put their loyal for their own nations above this piddling nation, and stand up to them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 20, 2016, 11:27 am

      ” Shapiro was also publicly lambasted on Israeli television on Tuesday by a former aide to Netanyahu who used the deeply offensive Hebrew word “yehudon” – which translates as “little Jew boy” – to disparage the ambassador. The term is used by rightwing Israelis against other Jews – particularly those in the diaspora – whom they regard as not being sufficiently Jewish or pro-Israel.”

      I’ll see you later. I’m gonna bring some hot tea and a couple of F40’s up to Ms. Unity’s room before she sees the Guardian.

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 20, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Although according to Wikipedia the “official Israeli government” position is that the territories are”disputed” it seems that the Yahoo and his cohorts rarely make the usual song and dance about use of the term “occupied” by foreign governments , internal or external NGO`s or media outlets eg by aggressively pushing the concept of “disputed”. This could well be because the term”occupied” suggests a”temporary” situation or arrangement and has been and will continue to act as a placebo to Western governments who wax on about the importance of advancing to the throttled dead as a door nail two state solution.

    All the while Israel will continue with its permanent theft of the West Bank and its resources whilst herding and walling in its native inhabitants.

    We should IMHO drop the use of the term”occupied” and substitute the term “stolen”.
    That is what it is – straighforward theft . [..]

    • annie
      annie
      January 20, 2016, 6:36 pm

      This could well be because the term”occupied” suggests a”temporary” situation or arrangement and has been and will continue to act as a placebo to Western government….

      no, it’s because disputed and occupied are legal terms that mean two different things and have (very) different ramifications/obligations under international law.

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 21, 2016, 7:15 am

    @Annie Robbins
    “no, it’s because disputed and occupied are legal terms that mean two different things and have (very) different ramifications/obligations under international law.”

    Sorry Annie I think that you have somehow missed the point that I was trying to make. This had nothing to do with legal terminology. I was simply trying to state that the term “occupied” conveys a sense of “temporary” status or temporary actions which IMHO is good for Yahoo and Co as it gives cover for their ongoing PERMANENT theft of West Bank land and resources.

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