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Nine reasons Israel is not a ‘progressive paradise’

Israel/Palestine
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From March 4th to March 6th, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference convened in Washington DC. This gathering is the largest of the year for AIPAC, the main arm of the American pro-Israel lobby.

AIPAC represents one of the most powerful lobbies in the United States, having a clout similar to that of the NRA. Former President of AIPAC, Steven J Rosen, once told a journalist, “You see this napkin? In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”

Yet in the past few years, AIPAC has lost support within the Democratic party. Due to the influence of centrist groups such as JStreet, a thriving divestment movement on college campuses, and Donald Trump’s unabashed praise for the Israeli government, AIPAC continues to lose influence among Democrats.

A 2018 Pew poll found that liberal Democrats sympathize more with Palestinians by a nearly two to one margin. The same poll found that Democrats overall are about as likely to sympathize with Palestinians than with Israelis.

This polling is vastly different from polls done on Democratic support for Israel in the past. In 2009, 42% of Democrats sympathized more with Israel more compared to just 27% of Democrats today. This had led Mondoweiss’s own Philip Weiss to refer to Israel as a “tanking stock” among Democrats.

In an attempt to salvage that stock, AIPAC made it a point of this year’s conference to reach out to progressives. In the same speech in which he praised Donald Trump to extended applause, AIPAC President, Mort Fridman, stated that “We need to embrace and involve many more Jewish Americans…The progressive case for Israel is just as compelling as the conservative one.”

Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic Governor of Michigan, pledged “to support AIPAC…[and] to make sure that Israel remains a bipartisan issue” and also stated that “There is a strong pro-Israel voice within the Democratic party.” Granholm also referred to Israel as a “progressive paradise” that is a “role model for other nations including America.”

Granhold’s Israel fable is contrary to realities on the ground. Progressives realizing the realities of the state of Israel are precisely why Democrats are continuing to sympathize more and more with Palestinians. I decided to compile a short list of nine reasons why Israel is not a “progressive paradise.”

1) The Blockade of Gaza

The situation in Gaza represents a humanitarian crisis. The Israeli army has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade that has prevented 1.6 million Palestinians from entering. Under the blockade, there have been restrictions and prohibitions from basic supplies from getting in such as pasta, cookies, powdered milk, soap, shampoo, textbooks, and writing paper.

Due to the blockade, basic necessities for living such as food and water remain difficult for Palestinians. As a result, 95% of Gazans are forced to drink contaminated water and 54% of the population does not know where their next meal is coming from. In an attempt to “dry up” funds to Hamas, the Israeli government has also cut electricity to Gaza. This means that the average Gazan gets four hours of electricity a day, posing a particular risk for individuals such as dialysis patients.

Noam Chomsky has described the conditions in Gaza as those of “an open-air prison.” In describing the rationale behind the blockade, Dov Weisglas, a former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said,”The idea is to put Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

Following the Israeli government’s 2014 bombing of Gaza, the infrastructure of Gaza has also been utterly destroyed. At the rate that current supplies are coming in, it is estimated that it will take 100 years to rebuild Gaza.

13.2% of children in Gaza suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. The psychological toll on the children of Gaza has been just as bad as the physical toll. 70% of Gazan children suffer from nightmares and 75% suffer from bedwetting, due to the torturous living conditions they endure.

A group of 50 international aid organizations, including the World Health Organization and Oxfam, have called on an end to the blockade of Gaza, stating:

“For over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under blockade in violation of international law. More than half of these people are children. We the undersigned say with one voice: ‘end the blockade now.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross has also stated that

“The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.”

2) Israel is a Settler-Colonialist State

Israel is a state founded European Jews who colonized the land and, in 1948, conducted a genocide and mass expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population living there.

Senator Bernie Sanders has compared this act of settler-colonialism to the settler-colonialism of Europeans who came to the Americas.

Sanders stated in 2017 that “Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 people were made refugees. To acknowledge this painful historical fact does not delegitimize Israel, any more than acknowledging the Trail of Tears delegitimizes the United States of America.”

The creation of the state of Israel resulted in the creation of the largest refugee population in the world. While Israeli’s refer to the creation of Israel as “Israeli Independence Day”(although it is not clear who they got their independence from), Palestinians refer to this day as the “nakba” or the catastrophe.

It is estimated that about 40% of the world’s refugees are Palestinians who were expelled from their homes by the creation of the state of Israel. The United Nations regularly reiterates the right of Palestinians and their descendants to return to homes that they were expelled from, specifically through declarations such as United Nations Resolution 192 and the International Declaration of Human Rights. Still Israel continues to deny these refugees the right to return to their homes.

3) Israel practices apartheid

In the state of Israel, a person’s ethnic identity determines the rights that they receive. Subjecting different sets of people to different sets of laws literally constitutes the definition of apartheid.

While Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank are subject to military law, Israeli settlers living in the West Bank are full and equal citizens of Israel subject to civil law. They can vote in elections while Palestinians living there are not even considered citizens. Non-Jewish citizens of Israel are subject to discriminatory laws that make them second-class citizens.

South Africans who lived under apartheid have described Israel as all-too familiar to the situation they faced under apartheid. The African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s political party, which fought apartheid in South Africa has labeled Israel an apartheid state. The former chairperson of the ANC, Baleka Mbete, called Israel “far worse than apartheid South Africa.”

Desmond Tutu stated that “Israel is an apartheid state…I go and I visit the Holy Land and I see things that are a mirror image of the sort of things that I experienced under the apartheid.”

The apartheid South African government also released a report in 1978 in which it stated that “Israel and South Africa have one thing above all else in common: they are both situated in a predominantly hostile world inhabited by dark peoples.”

Apartheid South Africa’s military chief, Constand Viljeon, was an admirer of Israeli checkpoints in Occupied Palestine. Upon visiting, he stated that

“The thoroughness with which Israel conducts this examination is astonishing. At the quickest, it takes individual Arabs that come through there about one and a half hours. When traffic is heavy, it takes from four to five.”

4) Mass Incarceration of Palestinians

40% of the Palestinian male population has been incarcerated in Israeli military courts. These military courts have a 99.74% conviction rate for Palestinians.

One of the Palestinians  incarcerated in these courts was Issa Amro, a man who many refer to as the “Palestinian Gandhi.” Amro engages in nonviolent action against Israel’s building of settlements in the Occupied West Bank that are illegal under international law. Amro faced jail time for 18 charges, ranging from “insulting a soldier” to “assault.” Amnesty International reported that “the deluge of charges against Issa Amro do not stand up to any scrutiny,” calling the charges “baseless and politically motivated.” Issa Amro is just one of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men who are thrown in Israeli jails on baseless charges.

Palestinian women similarly are no exception to this system of incarceration. On December 18th, 2017, in the middle of the night the Israeli army burst into the Tamimi family home and arrested 16-year-old girl, Ahed Tamimi. They beat her father, mother, older and younger brothers and confiscated the families laptops, phones and cameras. Tamimi was charged with “slapping a soldier” and remains jailed to this day.

Human Rights Watch documented the Israeli military’s abuse of Palestinian children in a report titled “Children Behind Bars” that:

“Each year, Israel arrests, detains, and prosecutes in the military court system some 500 to 700 Palestinian children suspected of criminal offenses in the occupied West Bank, according to Defence for Children International/Palestine Section. Israel is the only country that automatically prosecutes children in military courts. In 2015, Human Rights Watch found that Israeli security forces used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11 in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and have choked, beaten, threatened, and interrogated children in custody without parents or lawyers present.”

5) Islamophobia

Israel has been a state that has sought public support by painting itself as some sort of civilizational battle between “Islam and the West.” This is similar to the Islamophobia pushed by right-wing ideologues around the world including Donald Trump who famously stated that “Islam hates us” and pushed for a Muslim ban.

AIPAC has also pushed on this wave on Islamophobia. It was revealed last year that AIPAC donated to the “Center for Security Policy”(CSP), a hawkish far-right think tank headed by Frank Gaffney, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The American Conservative Union and Anti-Defamation League have also denounced CSP as an organization that promotes hatred of Muslims through delusional conspiracy theories. Regarding Muslims, Frank Gaffney said that “They essentially, like termites, hollow out the structure of the civil society and other institutions, for the purpose of creating conditions under which the jihad will succeed.”

Gaffney also claimed that Republican strategist, Grover Norquist; current Congressman and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison; and former President of the United States, Barack Obama are secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also accused Barack Obama of engaging in “the greatest bait and switch since Adolf Hitler.”

The Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) banned Gaffney as a result of his Islamophobic conspiracy theories, all while AIPAC provided him with financial support to peddle these conspiracy theories. Rhetoric like that of Gaffney, such as comparing Muslims to termites and suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to control the US government, is similar to anti-Jewish rhetoric used both historically and contemporarily that “Jews control the government.”

6) Segregated Schools

Israel’s schools are both religiously and racially segregated. Jewish students attend a school based on their religious denomination while the Palestinians attend their own schools. Less than 1% of children attend the handful of integrated schools which Jewish Israelis and Palestinians with second-class citizenship are allowed to attend. Palestinian schools also receive less government funding per capita than Jewish schools, resulting in fewer students attending college than in Jewish schools.

The city of Tel Aviv has also built separate schools for the children of non-Jewish African immigrants seeking asylum. The Daily Beast detailed this in an article entitled “Israel’s Most Liberal City Introduces Racially Segregated Kindergartens” which stated that

“The city built the new preschools for black children after Jewish-Israeli residents of the inner city area threatened to keep their children at home rather than allow them to learn how to count, fingerpaint and play on the swings alongside their peers from Eritrea and Sudan.”

7) Mass Deportations

Many African refugees from countries such as Eritrea and Sudan have fleed to Israel after having faced war in their own countries. Expecting the liberal democracy that AIPAC surrogates speak about, the refugees instead faced massive resistance from Israelis who referred to them as “infiltrators.” Israel has asked the African refugees to choose between detention in an Israeli jail or deportation to a third African country.

Michael Ben Ari, a member of Israel’s Parliament, explained that this infiltration is simply the result of their existence as non-Jews within a Jewish state. Ben Ari stated that “Our country is different from other countries. Our country is a Jewish state…A Jewish and democratic state…In some cases, the two contradict each other. If you bring in a million Africans, it will no longer be Jewish.”

Current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, previously warned that if the non-Jewish population in Israel reached as high as 30%, it could pose a risk to the “Jewish character” of the state of Israel.

He has even announced a plan to expel 40,000 non-Jewish African migrants, branding the asylum seekers as “infiltrators” whose existence poses a threat to Israel’s “Jewish character.” Netanyahu’s plans come after years of anti-Black protests in Israel where Israeli politicians across the political spectrum have made statements referring to African immigrants as a “cancer” and “emitting a bad stench” and “likely to cause all kinds of diseases.”

8) Israel Admitted to Forcibly Sterilizing Ethiopian Jewish Women Against Their Will

Although the Ethiopian Jewish population lives under civil law, thus enjoying the benefits of citizenship, they still suffer much discrimination in Israel despite the fact that they are Jewish. There have been reports of police brutality in Israel against Ethiopian Jews, in addition to discrimination in jobs and public service. In 2013, the Israeli Red Cross was found to be throwing away the blood of Ethiopian Jews who donated it. When Pnina Tamano-Shata offered to donate blood as part of a campaign by the Israeli Red Cross, the Israeli Red Cross rejected her blood donation on the grounds that she was Ethiopian. That same year, the Israeli government admitted to injecting Ethiopian Jewish women with a birth control drug called Depo-Provera.

Gal Gabbay, an Israeli journalist, reported that many women were subjected to birth control shots while they were migrating from Ethiopia to Israel. Gabbay reports that:

“According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”

Forced sterilization fits the United Nations genocide definition of “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.” As a result of these forced sterilizations, the birth rate for Ethiopian Jews fell 50% between 2003 and 2013.

9) Israel Has Provided Arms to Genocidal Governments Around The World

Israel has been an exporter of arms to many repressive regimes around the world. Beyond just selling apartheid South Africa a nuclear weapon, Israel was the biggest arms supplier of apartheid South Africa. Israel has also provided arms to the Burmese government as they engage in a genocide of the Rohingya population. Israel also provided the Rwandan government with weapons as they engaged in a genocide of the Tutsi tribe, which is considered the fastest past of genocide in human history. Israel also provided the Serbian government with arms as they engaged in an ethnic cleansing of Bosnians.

Far from a “progressive paradise”, Israel is actually an ethnoreligious state that violates the human rights of Palestinians, other ethnic and religious minorities within its borders, while also aiding Islamophobia and genocide on a global scale. It is for this reason that a significant and growing portion of the Democratic Party is clamoring for justice in Palestine. For as long as Israel continues to oppress, support for Israel will continue to be a tanking stock within the Democratic Party. No former Democratic governor can change that through fallacious assertions.

About Hamzah Raza

Hamzah Raza is a senior at Vanderbilt University. His writing has been published  in the Huffington Post, Alternet, Raw Story, LeMuslim Post, and the Tennessean. Follow him on Twitter @Hr609

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61 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    March 6, 2018, 9:32 am

    … Jennifer Granholm … referred to Israel as a “progressive paradise” that is a “role model for other nations including America.” …

    Israel is always a “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” state…except for when it’s not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 7, 2018, 10:39 am

      I just received this.

      An absolute must watch video!!!:

      BBC TV: HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur, interviews Palestinian Ahmad Tibi, Leader of Ta’al and Member of Knesset, March 6/18.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 8, 2018, 12:45 pm

        Misterioso , thanks for the link on the Sakur interview with Ahmad Tibi.

        Sakur must have been given the talking points by the Local Israeli embassy.The whole 24 mins ammounted to an inquisition .Not once did he mention Israeli,s crimes and preferred to focus on the 1SS and ask why the “Israelis” should allow themselves to be a minority in the Jewish State.No mention of Israeli leaders who have stated clearly and often that there will be no Palestinian State and that Israel is the party who have killed the 2SS and created the 1SS.

        The only satisfying moment wa Tibi,s last comment .

        “I am ready to be equal with everyone “.

  2. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 6, 2018, 12:47 pm

    “Progressive Paradise”.

    Ah yes like the Third Reich was.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsBsgyPZrmw
    Shiny happy Zionists holding hands.

  3. Donald
    Donald
    March 6, 2018, 5:30 pm
  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 6, 2018, 8:30 pm

    38 to 26, the ratio of sympathy of liberal democrats favoring palestinians over Israel is only close to 2 to 1 if you suffer from innumeracy.

  5. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    March 7, 2018, 1:18 am

    Hamza,

    Where in the Middle East is there a more progressive country than Israel.
    Be honest.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 7, 2018, 8:39 am

      || Jackdaw: … Where in the Middle East is there a more progressive country than Israel. … ||

      It’s funny how you Zionists consistently:
      – promote Israel as being at least as good as the best (“moral beacon”, “light unto the nations”, “progressive paradise”); and then
      – defend Israel by comparing it to bottom-of-the-barrel states (Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.).

      Jim: Dave is a decent and moral person and a truly wonderful human being!
      Bob: Dave is a rapist.
      Jim: Yeah, but he’s not a serial killer.

      • catalan
        catalan
        March 7, 2018, 10:10 am

        “defend Israel by comparing it to bottom-of-the-barrel states (Saudi Arabia,” eljay
        It looks like the Saudis are, for the first time in history, opening their airspace to Israeli bound planes. Israel’s trade with India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, the EU, Africa is booming. I guess it’s not just Zionists that like Israel.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 7, 2018, 11:20 am

        || catalan: … It looks like the Saudis are, for the first time in history, opening their airspace to Israeli bound planes. Israel’s trade with India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, the EU, Africa is booming. I guess it’s not just Zionists that like Israel. ||

        That’s nice, even though it doesn’t change the fact that Zionists consistently:
        – promote Israel as being at least as good as the best (“moral beacon”, “light unto the nations”, “progressive paradise”); and then
        – defend Israel by comparing it to bottom-of-the-barrel states (Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.).

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 7, 2018, 11:27 am

        If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 7, 2018, 11:36 am

        || Jackdaw: If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment. ||

        If you don’t like my comments, then don’t ask questions.

      • druid
        druid
        March 7, 2018, 2:36 pm

        And these countries are the way they are because Israel and the US/Britain have undermined the people by supporting and propping up dictators, then invading and causing chaos. of course they’re a mess. The Saudi government is just another Israeli government

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        March 12, 2018, 7:18 pm

        @Jackdaw, the naysayers bring up Saudi Arabia as though it is the only country to be compared to Israel. If you go to Mapped: The world’s most (and least) free countries you see that Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East classified as FREE. Lebanon and Jordan are considered PARTLY FREE. All the remaining countries in the region are consider NOT FREE.
        Hamzah Raza’s tired list of propaganda points does not address reality – he is just venting his biased purview.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 12, 2018, 9:54 pm

        || Mayhem: @Jackdaw, the naysayers bring up Saudi Arabia as though it is the only country to be compared to Israel. … ||

        Of course it’s not the only country: Once you Zionists have praised the “Jewish State” as a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations”, a “Western-style democracy” and a “progressive paradise”, you then invariably defend it by comparing it to Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, China and 19th century America and pointing out that it’s not quite as bad as those states.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        Kaisa of Finland
        March 13, 2018, 12:15 am

        Eljay:

        “Once you Zionists have praised the “Jewish State” as a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations”, a “Western-style democracy” and a “progressive paradise”..”

        Just today, I was – for a change – watching the Finnish Evangelical TV-channel and their pro-Israel programs and if you want to hear some praising of Israel as a “progressive start up-nation” which will surely save the whole world, I recommend watching this (Some adds in Finnish might appear in the beginning, but the program is in English):

        http://www.tv7.fi/vod/player/61961/

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 7, 2018, 10:47 am

      @Jackdaw

      Referring to the entity known as “Israel,” a belligerent, illegal, brutal occupier, an ethnic cleanser, a thoroughly documented serial and escalating violator of international humanitarian law as “progressive” is utterly absurd. You live in a fantasy world. Thankfully, the rest of the world, including the U.S., is rapidly seeing the entity known as “Israel” for the racist, apartheid monster it is and always has been.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 7, 2018, 11:28 am

        If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        March 7, 2018, 12:09 pm

        @Jackdaw

        I have answered your question. The entity known as “Israel” and the word “progressive” are mutually exclusive.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 7, 2018, 1:27 pm

        Well, Mist, if ‘progressive Israel’ is, at least for people who use words normally and face facts, effectively a contradiction in terms then the answer to Jackdaw’s question depends on whether ‘progresdive ME country’ is to be viewed, for practical purposes, in the same way. If so, the the answer to his question is ‘none’. If not, then the answer is ‘at least a few of them’. I don’t know enough about life in those countries to be very definite. Perhaps Lebanon and Jordan are making the best of a very difficult situation. Perhaps Israel is using its resources in ways that we would call progressive if followed in the West. But their resources are ill-gotten gains continually secured by cruelty and the Israelis certainly aren’t running a paradise.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 7, 2018, 1:31 pm

        @Mister

        The answer to my question is the name of a country in the Middle East.

        Any other answer is bullshit.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 2:43 pm

        “Any other answer is bullshit.”

        “Jackdaw” you don’t have to put up with this. You just go ahead and delete any bullshit answers which get published.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        March 7, 2018, 3:19 pm

        @jackdaw

        “The answer to my question is the name of a country in the Middle East. Any other answer is bullshit.”

        Your question is nonsensical. Regardless of the situation in other Middle East countries, the fact remains that “Israel” is demonstrably not “progressive.”

        To be brief:
        Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the horrors the entity know as “Israel” inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
        “Occupation is Slavery”
        EXCERPT:
        “In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

        Regarding Palestinian Arab citizens of “Israel,” i.e. west of the green line:
        Israel is and always has been governed under an apartheid system:

        Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

        Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
        (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

        “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
        EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

        Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

        In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

        “Construction, Not Destruction”
        “While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades.” (Haaretz Editorial, April 4, 2017)

        One example of apartheid within Israel:
        “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
        Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’” (Haaretz, 14 December 2009)

        Ronnie Kasrils, a key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

        Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

        Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

        The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi,
        “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

        Indeed, “Israel” is the very antithesis of “progressive.” Apartheid is not “progressive.”
        Ruthless, brutal oppression of an illegally occupied defenseless people is not “progressive.”
        The list goes on and on…..

    • montereypinegreen
      montereypinegreen
      March 8, 2018, 8:46 pm

      “Just name a country in the Middle East that’s more progressive than Israel”

      This is like saying, “Of all the serial murderers on Death Row, which one is the most lovable?”

      The answer, of course, is that the question is absurd.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 9, 2018, 9:23 am

        I don’t know who you are, but you don’t have balls either.
        That must be a requirement to join the Mondoweiss/BDS cult.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 2:26 pm

        “That must be a requirement to join the Mondoweiss/BDS cult.”

        Stop being stupid, “Jackdaw”. You know exactly what it takes to join the “Mondoweiss/BDS cult”. You are a member. In good standing.

  6. Marnie
    Marnie
    March 7, 2018, 3:48 am

    “Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic Governor of Michigan, pledged “to support AIPAC…[and] to make sure that Israel remains a bipartisan issue” and also stated that “There is a strong pro-Israel voice within the Democratic party.” Granholm also referred to Israel as a “progressive paradise” that is a “role model for other nations including America.”

    Jennifer, how much love did AIPAC show you for you to unload these lies? israel is a progressive paradise – really? If by progressive you mean the speed at which it is descending into madness and self-destruction then you’re damn straight on that; I don’t know if israel is a role model for other nations, including amerikkka – more like a mirror.

  7. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    March 7, 2018, 9:34 am

    Income inequality between Jews in Israel is heartbreaking . Definetly not progressive.

    Rabbinical courts are medieval and destroy the lives of many orthodox women

    Israeli environmental management is abysmal..
    The education system is mediocre and used to serve the army

    Kids are brainwashed

    The army uses weapons that damage the environment

    Israel is a bad place for Jews to live even if you ignore apartheid etc.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      March 7, 2018, 11:28 am

      If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 11:48 am

        “If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.”

        Raaawk!

        “If you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.”

        Raawk!

      • John O
        John O
        March 7, 2018, 12:49 pm

        @Jackdaw.

        How about you define your terms? What do you mean by progressive? Which countries do you consider to constitute the Middle East?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 7, 2018, 1:30 pm

        @JohnO

        Your definition of progressive is satisfactory. Whatever countries you want to include in the Middle East is fine.

        Just name a country in the Middle East that’s more progressive than Israel.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 7, 2018, 2:07 pm

        Sudan is more progressive than Israel.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 2:48 pm

        “Just name a country in the Middle East that’s more progressive than Israel.”

        Gee, “Jackdaw”, if you talked to Israelis, they would agree with you.
        So why the hell does it matter to you if we agree with you or not?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 7, 2018, 2:49 pm

        @Maghlawatan

        “Sudan is more progressive than Israel.”

        Darfur Sudan? Al Qaeda Sudan? Omar Bashir, the indicted genocideairre, Sudan?
        Clitoridectomy and Infibulation Sudan?

        BTW. Sudan is in Africa.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 7, 2018, 3:22 pm

        Darfur compares favourably with Gaza
        The Nile is cleaner than any Israeli river
        Sudanese women are free to divorce
        Sudan spends less on the military than Israel

      • John O
        John O
        March 7, 2018, 4:53 pm

        @Jackdaw “Your definition of progressive is satisfactory. Whatever countries you want to include in the Middle East is fine.”

        To coin a phrase, if you can’t answer my question, then don’t comment.

  8. amigo
    amigo
    March 7, 2018, 1:49 pm

    jackduh.

    Name any country in the ME that has committed more war crimes or is in violation of more UNSCR,S than Israel.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      March 7, 2018, 2:51 pm

      Dunno.

      How about answering my question?

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 7, 2018, 3:29 pm

        Jackdaw , so your saying Israel ia at the top of the heap of war criminal states.

        Now , that is progressive.

        Thanks for answering my question.Very honest of you.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 4:28 pm

        “How about answering my question?”

        You are in a hell of a spot, “Jackdaw”, if you are begging us to talk to you. Aren’t there hundreds of Israelis, right around you, who can answer your questions?

        You hate it there, don’t you “Jackdaw”.

      • annie
        annie
        March 7, 2018, 4:46 pm

        jack’s question is a non sequitur since an apartheid state automatically disqualifies israel as a progressive state. unless he means

        “happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.
        “a progressive decline in popularity””.

        in that case israel would be on top of the heap.

        other than that we could ask ‘hey, what’s more progressive than the largest open air prison on the planet?’ oh i know, the syrian state battling the forces of isis! or iran agreeing to the iran deal! saudi arabia, finally allowing women to drive!

        or how about ‘hey, what’s more progressive than abducting children in the middle of the night and torturing them into false confessions?’ oh wow, that’s so much more progressive than isis chopping a child’s head off. israel wins! wow, israel is more progressive than the caliphate — sometimes. except they keep shooting kids in the head and eyes.

        and those grass mowing operations, they progressively get more deadly. let’s go bomb iran for our lil o so progressive friend israel.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 8, 2018, 2:55 pm

        The two questions are fairly easy to answer – it’s more progressive and humane, in comparison to running that large prison, to run a society where most people are reasonably free to come and go. It’s more progressive, compared with abducting children, to run a juvenile justice system to something like the standards of (say) the UK. This throws some light on how to answer Jackdaw’s question, since it raises the question of what ‘progressive’ means.
        If we say that Israel is non-progressive on the grounds mentioned it follows that several ME and other states are more progressive in a significant sense. It seems to me that my nominations of Jordan and Lebanon could stand so far. I don’t suggest that that list is exclusive but I did have a google look at civil liberties in those countries and didn’t think I had to change my mind. Still, there are things about both those countries that are disquieting. And about the UK of course.

  9. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    March 7, 2018, 2:43 pm

    Jack###

    Repeating questions by Goebbels, of course.
    Too ignorant to even know that.

  10. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 7, 2018, 2:48 pm

    @Jackdaw
    “Just name a country in the Middle East that’s more progressive than Israel”

    Ah state authorised and instructed heavily armed IDF goons snatching children from their homes at 0300 a.m. in “daring” and “most moral raids” then detaining ,interrogating and torturing them without access to parents. Wow really progressive dude.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      March 8, 2018, 3:43 pm

      @Assinev

      Okay. Than you should have no problem naming a Middle Eastern country more progressive than Israel.
      Spit out the name of a country. Any country.

      %^$# loser!

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 9, 2018, 3:09 pm

        || Jackdaw: @Assinev

        Okay. Than you should have no problem naming a Middle Eastern country more progressive than Israel.
        Spit out the name of a country. Any country.

        %^$# loser! ||

        If you are representative of the jackdaws Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz observed, I’d have him stripped of that honour.

        Israel may very well be the most progressive country in the Middle East, but that does not make it an unqualified “progressive paradise” or, for that matter, a “moral beacon” or “light unto the nations” state.

        %^$# fool.

  11. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    March 10, 2018, 1:46 am

    @eljay

    “Israel may very well be the most progressive country in the Middle East, but that does not make it an unqualified “progressive paradise” or, for that matter, a “moral beacon” or “light unto the nations” state.”

    Well look who’s got some man-sized stones! Thank you eljay.

    And you are right. Israel is not an unqualified “progressive paradise”, nor is she a ‘moral beacon” or “light unto the nations”.

    Great. Now we can move on.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 10, 2018, 9:08 am

      || Jackdaw: @eljay … you are right. Israel is not an unqualified “progressive paradise”, nor is she a ‘moral beacon” or “light unto the nations”. … ||

      You and I know this, but plenty of your fellow Zionists – including Jennifer Granholm – either haven’t gotten the memo or haven’t bothered to read it.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        March 10, 2018, 1:12 pm

        @eljay

        Maybe you can answer this question.
        How come Mondoweiss supports freedom for Palestinians, but doesn’t support freedom for the Kurds?

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2018, 1:35 pm

        i support kurds having equal rights where ever they reside. and i am not sure where you got the idea “mondoweiss” doesn’t support kurds being free people.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 10, 2018, 1:45 pm

        || Jackdaw: @eljay

        Maybe you can answer this question.
        How come Mondoweiss supports freedom for Palestinians, but doesn’t support freedom for the Kurds? ||

        I can’t answer on behalf of Mondoweiss. All I can say is that if the people of the geographic region comprising (claimed) Kurdistan were to vote democratically to establish an independent – and secular and democratic – Kurdish state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally, I’d support it.

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2018, 2:03 pm

        the geographic region comprising (claimed) Kurdistan were to vote democratically to establish an independent – and secular and democratic – Kurdish state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally, I’d support it.

        one of the problems, as i see it, is the US/IS juggernaut wants a huge region of syria included in this proposed state and it includes an incredible oil rich region supporting syria. plus, although there are kurds in this region, they are not the majority by any means. hence, it is highly unlikely “if the people of the geographic region” of syria targeted for this proposed state voted, they would choose to break off from syria. and i’m not really clear how syria oppresses their kurdish citizens, if at all. it’s an empire land grab the US wants to control where we already have lots of military bases. this has nothing to do with “kurdish freedom” per se.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 10, 2018, 2:10 pm

        || Annie Robbins @ March 10, 2018, 2:03 pm ||

        I’m not saying that it would be easy or that it would be done for the “right reasons”. But if the majority of people within a defined “Kurdish” geographic region were to vote democratically to establish an independent – and secular and democratic – Kurdish state, etc., it would be hypocritical of me not to support it. So I would support it.

        I really hope Jackdaw is smart enough to comprehend that this does not constitute a “gotcha!” re. the whole religion-supremacist “Jewish State” thing. But I have a feeling that he’s going to disappoint me.

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2018, 4:54 pm

        I’m not saying that it would be easy or that it would be done for the “right reasons”.

        i didn’t mean to imply you were suggesting either of these things. mostly i was posting the impracticality of this due to demographics. and, i see your point. but back to the impracticality, (and certainly not to make light of what appears, currently, to be a genocide of kurds by turkey) as you can see from this map here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Federation_of_Northern_Syria this colored part of the map is the chunk of syria the US seeks to chop off. it includes Deir ez-Zor, location of syria’s largest oil field. the kurdish population in syria is less than 10% and they could not win a democratic vote in this region although they probably could in a few very small regions. but these region are separated by a large land mass from the kurdish region in iraq.

        the other (big) problem is that none of the states that would be bordering this state want a kurdish state, which would present huge problems in terms of trade, security, everything. this includes turkey, iraq, iran and syria. plus, all of those states know the survival of this kurdish state would require the constant presents of US military bases for it’s survival. so it would be massively destabilizing for the region. not that differently than israel destabilizes the region.

        and it was wrong of me to write ” i’m not really clear how syria oppresses their kurdish citizens, if at all.” because being not clear about something is not the same as implying they never oppressed the kurds, which i am sure they have. i think it would be simpler, and a lot less bloody, to accomplish kurdish freedom by lobbying for rights within the states they currently live. but allying w/US-IS to grab the largest oil region 25 million people depend on for their national resources to give to a minority is a mistake — mostly because “within a defined “Kurdish” geographic region” you’d have to ask ‘who’s doing that defining’? ie: most of the people in Deir ez-Zor are not kurdish and never have been historically or otherwise.

        that said, i am no expert on this topic.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        Kaisa of Finland
        March 10, 2018, 3:56 pm

        “and i’m not really clear how syria oppresses their kurdish citizens, if at all..”

        We have lots of Kurds living in Finland and all the Nordic countries (from Irak, Iran, Syria, Turkey), cause they have been oppressed everywhere in the Middle East. In some point of time (I don’t know if it is still the same) the Syrian Kurds were not allowed to speak Kurdish or even give Kurdish names to their children.

        The opinions of a one Kurdish state varies a lot and atleast at the moment, the focus is on getting freedom and autonomy (self-determination) on those different traditional Kurdish areas. The dream of a one united Kurdistan maybe in the future.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        Kaisa of Finland
        March 10, 2018, 3:58 pm

        And there are lots of strong women in the “Kurdish freedom movement”.
        (Proud to say, this girl grew up in Finland :) )

      • Kaisa of Finland
        Kaisa of Finland
        March 10, 2018, 5:08 pm

        I wrote:

        “The opinions of a one Kurdish state varies a lot..”

        And I should have written:

        “The opinions of a one Kurdish state varies a lot AMONG THE KURDS..”

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