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Knesset foils efforts to end Israeli apartheid

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For most of the seven decades after its establishment, Israel went to extraordinary lengths to craft an image of itself as a “light unto the nations.”

It claimed to have “made the desert bloom” by planting forests over the razed houses of 750,000 Palestinians it exiled in 1948. Soldiers in the “most moral army in the world” reputedly cried as they were compelled to shoot Palestinian “infiltrators” trying to return home. And all this occurred in what Israelis claimed was the Middle East’s “only democracy.”

An industry known as hasbara – a euphemism for propaganda – recruited Jews in Israel and abroad to a campaign to persuade the world that the Palestinians’ dispossession was for the good of mankind. Israel’s achievements in science, agriculture and medicine were extolled.

But in a more interconnected world, that propaganda campaign is swiftly unravelling. Phone cameras now record “moral” soldiers executing unarmed Palestinians in Gaza or beating up children in Hebron.

The backlash, including a growing international boycott movement, has driven Israel’s right wing into even greater defiance and self-righteousness. It no longer conceals its goal to aggressively realize a longed-for “Greater Israel.” 

A parallel process is overtaking Israel’s traditional left but has been far less noticed. It too is stubbornly committed to its ideological legacy – the creation of a supposed “Jewish and democratic state” after 1948. 

And just as the immorality of Israel’s belligerent rule in the occupied territories is under ever greater scrutiny, so too is its claim to be a democracy conferring equal rights on all citizens.

Israel includes a large minority of 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, the remnants of those who survived the expulsions required for its creation. Although Palestinian citizens have the vote, it was an easy generosity after Israel gerrymandered the electoral constituency in 1948 to ensure Palestinians remained a permanent and decisive minority. 

In a system of residential apartheid, Palestinian citizens have been confined to ghettos on a tiny fraction of land while Israel has “nationalized” 93 percent of its territory for Jews around the world.

But after decades of repression, including an initial 20 years living under military rule, the Palestinian minority has gradually grown more confident in highlighting Israel’s political deficiencies. 

In recent days, Palestinian legislators have submitted three legislative measures before parliament to explode the illusion that Israel is a western-style liberal democracy.

None stood the faintest chance of being passed in a system rigged to keep Palestinian lawmakers out of any of Israel’s complex but entirely Zionist coalition governments.

The first measure sought to revoke the quasi-governmental status of major international Zionist organizations like the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Jewish Agency. 

Although they are treated like state bodies, these organizations are obligated through their charters to discriminate in allocating state resources and rights to Jews around the world rather than to Israelis. The aim is to exclude Palestinian citizens from major state benefits.

The JNF bans access for non-Jews to most land in Israel and develops new communities exclusively for Jews, while the Jewish Agency restricts immigration and associated perks to Jews alone.

The bill – designed to end decades of explicit discrimination against one fifth of Israel’s citizenry – was defeated when all the Jewish parties voted against it. Zuheir Bahloul, the sole Palestinian legislator in Zionist Union, the centre-left party once called Labour, was furiously denounced by Jewish colleagues for breaking ranks and voting for the bill.

That was no surprise. The party’s previous leader, Isaac Herzog, is the frontrunner to become the next chair of the Jewish Agency. Israel’s left still venerates these organizations that promote ethnic privileges – for Jews – of a sort once familiar from apartheid South Africa.

Mr. Bahloul also found himself in the firing line after he submitted a separate bill requiring that for the first time the principle of equality be enshrined in all 11 Basic Laws, Israel’s equivalent of a constitution. The proposal was roundly defeated, including by his own party.

The third measure was a bill demanding that Israel be reformed from a Jewish state into a state of all its citizens, representing all equally. In a highly irregular move, a committee dominated by Jewish legislators voted to disqualify the bill last week from even being tabled, denying it any chance of a hearing on the parliament floor.

 The parliament’s legal adviser, Eyal Yinon, warned that the measure would alter Israel’s character by giving Jewish and Palestinian citizens “equal status.” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called the bill “preposterous.” “Any intelligent individual can see it must be blocked immediately,” he said.

Law professor Mordechai Kremnitzer, meanwhile, conceded that the bill exposed Israeli democracy as “fundamentally flawed.”

These three bills from Palestinian legislators might have redressed some of the inequities contained in nearly 70 Israeli laws that, according to Adalah, a legal rights group, explicitly discriminate based on ethnicity.

Paradoxically, the number of such laws has grown prolifically in recent years as Adalah and others have challenged Jewish privileges in the courts.

The Israeli left and right have joined forces to shore up these threatened racist practices through new legislation – secure that an intimidated supreme court will not dare revoke the will of parliament. 

The reality is that left-wing Israelis – shown beyond doubt that their state is not the liberal democracy they imagined – have hurried to join the right in silencing critics and implementing harsher repression. 

Palestinian citizens who peacefully protested against the massacre of demonstrators in Gaza by army snipers were assaulted in police custody last month. One arrested civil society leader had his knee broken. There have been barely any objections, even on the left.

Today, Israelis are hunkering down. Boycott activists from abroad are denied entry. Unarmed Palestinian demonstrators have been gunned down in Gaza. And critics inside Israel are silenced or beaten up.

All these responses have the same end in mind: to block anything that might burst the bubble of illusions and threaten Israelis’ sense of moral superiority. 

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi, on June 10, 2018. 

 

Jonathan Cook
About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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92 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    June 12, 2018, 11:15 am

    Justice, accountability and equality: Three things Zionist hypocrites absolutely despise when they threaten Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

  2. American Perspective
    American Perspective
    June 12, 2018, 11:26 am

    “the illusion that Israel is a western-style liberal democracy”.

    Maybe Jonathan can correct me, but when has Israel (or its supporters or illusionists) ever claimed that Israel is a “western-style liberal democracy”?

    When the League of Nations Mandate ended, the Zionist leadership quite emphatically accepted the proposal that Palestine *not* be a western-style liberal democracy. The Zionist leadership embraced the idea that the successor country would be a nation-state.

    This isn’t any kind of secret or “illusion”. I think the Star of David on the flag, the choice to name the successor state “Israel”, the adoption of the Hebrew calendar, and the adoption of Hebrew as one of the official languages may have given that “secret” or “illusion” away that Israel doesn’t claim to have the United States’ or Western Europe’s political culture.

    This may come as a shock to some Mondoweiss readers. But keep in mind, many of you unconditionally support the State of Palestine and strongly support its political culture – a political culture that also doesn’t claim to be a “western-style liberal democracy”.

    If Jonathan Cook thought that Israel was a “western-style liberal democracy” which claimed to be a civil nationalist country, he obviously has a very poor grasp of how international politics works. And if he thinks that “western-style liberal democracy” is some platonic ideal appropriate for all places at all times, he’s gotta make that argument and explain why. And also explain why its appropriate for Israel and not appropriate for Palestine.

    • eljay
      eljay
      June 12, 2018, 12:36 pm

      || American Perspective: … when has Israel (or its supporters or illusionists) ever claimed that Israel is a “western-style liberal democracy”? … ||

      I know you’re kidding, but here are three quick examples.

      Fact Sheets: Israel’s Liberal Democracy

      … Its diverse culture, open society and guaranteed civil and political liberties for all citizens, regardless of race, religion, gender or creed, follows closely to Western democratic tradition. It’s liberal democracy, in fact, is the main reason that Israel has been able to have remarkable economic development …

      Democracy in Israel (PDF)

      As a vibrant, liberal democracy …

      Transcript: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (PDF)

      … Israel is a liberal democracy that shares our values. …

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 5:45 pm

        Israel right now is a liberal democracy. Democracy Index lists it somewhere close to Western Europe levels and rising. Which is quite remarkable considering the agitation it faces from a nationalist minority and ongoing wars with a dozen countries.

        But Israel has never been shy about its nation-state identity. It is not a universal, civil nationalist state like the U.S. or late-stage Western European countries. And it has never claimed to be.

        Israel is more like Quebec or Spain (although with much broader civil liberties than Quebec or Spain for minority religions and minority national identitarians). Quebec and Spain (like Israel) are liberal democracies. They share virtually no civil nationalist ideals with the United States – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a liberal democracy.

      • Jethro
        Jethro
        June 12, 2018, 6:34 pm

        @American Perspective

        It is not a universal, civil nationalist state like the U.S. or late-stage Western European countries. And it has never claimed to be.

        Huh. It says right here in the Israeli Declaration of Independence, “…it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations…”

        I wonder what they meant by that.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 12, 2018, 6:47 pm

        || American Perspective: Israel right now is a liberal democracy. … But Israel has never been shy about its nation-state identity. … ||

        That’s nice. But the fact remains that “Israel (or its supporters or illusionists)” have “claimed that Israel is a ‘western-style liberal democracy'”.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        June 12, 2018, 8:34 pm

        AP

        Most people on Mondo mainline news and analysis from the Zionist cluster fuck. You can claim whatever you want about Israel but there will be a news item tomorrow to contradict you . And another and then a flood .

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 13, 2018, 12:22 am

        Israel is a nightmare with nuclear weapons. If and when the west decides they will not fight anymore proxy wars for this rogue state, cut all spending on this apartheid state and recognize the rights of jews do not trump the rights of palestinians, christians, etc., ‘israel’ will no longer exist as it has for 70 years. And that will be wonderful for all.

        American Perspective is a curious name – do you actually represent america or are you some random american hasbarobot? It sounds like you are trying to come across as if you are multiple (but being a zionist has its side effects). Someone should have told you that american perspective sounds as arrogant as it does stupid and definitely a great part of the problem in this part of the world.

      • just
        just
        June 13, 2018, 1:26 am

        “American Perspective is a curious name – do you actually represent america or are you some random american hasbarobot?”

        Bingo! From the other thread, Marnie:

        “Take the United Mexican States (what Americans call “Mexico”).”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2018/06/expect-elizabeth-critical/

        Curious, eh? Or not.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 13, 2018, 8:59 am

        @just –

        never in my life ever heard the expression ‘united mexican states’. wtf? weirdo creep for sure.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 12, 2018, 12:46 pm

      My-oh-my, somebody has been taking a double-dose of pilpuls this morning.

      • just
        just
        June 12, 2018, 2:47 pm

        New visitor and commenter to MW, Mooser.

        We shall see…..

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2018, 3:11 pm

        Another one-hit wonder? I’d like to hear the B-side of “Joke’s On You, World!”

      • just
        just
        June 12, 2018, 4:45 pm
      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2018, 6:55 pm

        “1st to post, too”

        He wants to make sure the basis of his position, that Israel is the most powerful force on earth, and all must comply with it, and Zionist power is permanent and stable and can’t be resisted, gets firmly established at the beginning of the thread.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2018, 7:20 pm

        “Maybe Jonathan can correct me, but when has Israel (or its supporters or illusionists) ever claimed that Israel is a “western-style liberal democracy”?” “American Perspective”

        Next comment down:

        “Israel right now is a liberal democracy. Democracy Index lists it somewhere close to Western Europe levels and rising” “American Perspective”

        Ah, the ever-changing American Perspective on Israel.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      June 12, 2018, 1:12 pm

      “but when has Israel (or its supporters or illusionists) ever claimed that Israel is a “western-style liberal democracy”?”

      Dude,
      You need to see an AIPAC Conference.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 6:49 pm

        I’ve been. They celebrate Israel as a Jewish state. Not as a civil nationalist utopia, which the New Israel Fund yearns for.

        Is this concept (that in the 1940s when the Mandate ended, Israel chose to become a nation-state; not a civil nationalist “state of all its citizens”) new to you?

      • annie
        annie
        June 12, 2018, 7:14 pm

        don’t beat around the bush, israel is an ethnic-nationalist state. we’re well aware of that. and as someone who purports to have an “American Perspective” why are you poo pooing on civic nationalism?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2018, 7:25 pm

        “American Perspective” why are you poo pooing on civic nationalism?”

        Probably because he knows what a disaster American civic nationalism has been for Jewish people in the US. Seen it with his own eyes.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 9:09 pm

        I think civil nationalism has worked well in the United States since it was introduced in the 1960s.

        It’s not universally popular (see the tremendous support for Louis Farrakhan’s vision of black identity; the California and Texan and Floridian and Southern seperationists; the BLM; the Puerto Rican independence movement; the Chareidi “villages” in the backwoods of Pennsylvania and New York; the Alt-Right) but it has been great for the American economy and has provided a lot of opportunity for folks like me and my friends & family.

        But Israel is not the United States. It has a different geography, different demography, different history, different economy, different geo-political role, different moral and economic horizons, and a different sense of self-identity.

        I don’t visit the badlands of Quebec and start lecturing the locals that they should allow folks to use whatever language they want. I don’t journey to the U.K. and start demanding that they let Lauren Southern be admitted to the country. I don’t fly to Spain and tell them that they shouldn’t jail Catalan nationalists.

        I recognize that the great idea of late capitalism – civil nationalism – which the United States has tried since the 1960s, has a lot to recommend it. But that it’s not my role as a patriot to start imposing our unique and very specific view of the world on our neighbors in Mexico, Cuba, Canada – and certainly not on countries half-way across the world.

        All we can do as Americans is model the best version of ourselves, promote our values and hope that foreigners pick up on some of the best elements of who we are. (I.e. we wouldn’t want Mexicans or Chinese or Israelis to mimic the Alt-right, Nation of Islam, MS-13; but rather the best version of ourselves).

        But we should never impose or assume our model is the best for everyone.

      • annie
        annie
        June 12, 2018, 11:06 pm

        I think civil nationalism has worked well in the United States since it was introduced in the 1960s…I recognize that the great idea of late capitalism – civil nationalism – which the United States has tried since the 1960s, has a lot to recommend it.

        maybe you should do some reading up on civil nationalism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_nationalism

        Civic-national ideals influenced the development of representative democracy in countries such as the United States and France (see the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789).

        so the idea that it began in the US in the 60’s would be incorrect. the framework, in our constitution, has been there since the beginning, albeit, very imperfect.

        here’s a very basic explanation of the difference https://msu.edu/user/hillrr/161lec16.htm

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 11:56 pm

        There was a Whites-preferred immigration policy until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Whites-only public accommodations, schools, political movements were common before the Civil Rights Act. Some folks (BLM, Nation of Islam, etc . . .) believe we live under a new Jim Crow.

        So the idea that citizenship fully encompasses all races, religions, and backgrounds is a *very* new experiment. We’ll see how it goes.

        We do know that in France, the experiment failed. Contemporary French “civil nationalism” has been a failure for everyone, but especially for French Jews who are heavily persecuted by supporters of the government of the State of Palestine. That’s why you hear the French language being spoken so much in South Beach and the Upper West Side these days.

        In Britain, the jury is out. We should know in the next 5 – 10 years whether civil nationalism will be a successful formula. It’s not promising. And it’s been devastating for the Jewish community of Britain.

        In the United States it has had mixed results. Since this is a Jew-focussed site, we’ll discuss how CN worked for that community. Chareidi Jews, who make up the bulk of young American Jews in the Northeast, have largely been isolated from the benefits of civil nationalism and are quite poor and marginalized as a result. Leftist Jews have experienced CN as a godsend, although they are becoming demographically obsolete and increasingly alienated from Jewish identity at all, which I guess is the destination of late-stage civil nationalism.

        So to take a very modern political model, which has had mixed results (and particularly bad outcomes for Jews in France and Germany); and mixed or uncertain results in the very few other places it’s been tried – and just assume that it is a universal, platonic ideal that we should expect from every country in the world is naive.

        It is absurd to assume that folks in Israel want, need, or should adopt some political fad that’s younger than Instant Oatmeal.

        Besides, if we’re going to throw our weight around as Americans to get foreign countries to adopt our political model, why don’t we try introducing civil nationalism to our neighbors in Cuba, Mexico and Quebec before we foist it on a small country half-way across the world which belongs to a completely different civilization? 100’s times more folks die because of the Mexican political model each year than die in Israel/Palestine.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 13, 2018, 5:57 am

        ‘the new israel fund yearns for’

        I think you’re getting the lyrics to shite song confused with your hasbara 8-track. Follow your instruction pablum with more care american prospector.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        June 13, 2018, 9:07 am

        @AP – blah, blah, blah

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 12:01 pm

        Hey, “Annie” can we debate how different “Jewish nationalism” is from “White nationalism” (with a capital “W”, here, too)?

        There seems to have been some intermarriage.

    • just
      just
      June 12, 2018, 1:40 pm

      “Maybe Jonathan can correct me, but when has Israel (or its supporters or illusionists) ever claimed that Israel is a “western-style liberal democracy”?”

      Are you serious? It’s easy~ you can google it if you haven’t been paying attention to the US and Israeli pronouncements.

      Here’s just one example from AIPAC:

      “March 31, 2008

      Israel: A Vibrant Democracy

      For the past 60 years, Israel has been a sanctuary of democracy and pluralism in a region dominated by authoritarian regimes. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with free elections, a free press, freedom of religion, protection for minority rights and other safeguards typical of a free society. Amid constant threat, Israel constantly works to protect its citizens while upholding the values that make the Jewish state a true Western-style democracy like the
      United States. …”

      More @ https://www.aipac.org/-/media/publications/policy-and-politics/aipac-analyses/issue-memos/2008/04/israel_a_vibrant_democracy.pdf

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 12, 2018, 1:53 pm

      “If Jonathan Cook thought that Israel was a “western-style liberal democracy” which claimed to be a civil nationalist country, he obviously has a very poor grasp of how international politics works”

      Oh, I see, it’s the power of the Israel lobby which manipulates the US into unconditional support of the Jewish colonial project, not “shared values”. Good to know.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 6:32 pm

        “Shared values” is ridiculous.

        As Americans we have “shared values” with Canada, but are at the start of a major trade war. We have “shared values” with post-Apartheid South Africa, which has been a failed experiment and anything but American in its substance and its execution.

        “Shared values” is just a cute catchphrase to justify existing power relations. Don’t read too much into it. We’re going to be getting along just fine with a unified Korea (as we do with China) without any “shared values” nonsense.

        You sound like those folks who take the “Jewish state” line seriously.

      • annie
        annie
        June 12, 2018, 7:52 pm

        you’re just straw manning your way thru this aren’t you? example, you citing cook: “the illusion that Israel is a western-style liberal democracy” iow, you know he called it an illusion, so why this:

        If Jonathan Cook thought that Israel was a “western-style liberal democracy” which claimed to be a civil nationalist country, he obviously has a very poor grasp of how international politics works

        and now, “Shared values” is ridiculous.. as if we don’t know. this is pro israel hasbara as is this garbage about israel supporters pretending it’s western, or part of europe of something ie: http://jewishexponent.com/2017/01/06/even-without-perfection-israel-model-liberal-democracy/

        i think mooser, and the rest of us, are all too away we don’t not share values w/israel.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 12, 2018, 7:55 pm

        || Annie Robbins: you’re just straw manning your way thru this aren’t you? … ||

        He’s the new recruit, figuring out what role to play. I’m sure he’ll find his groove in no time.

      • annie
        annie
        June 12, 2018, 8:01 pm

        figuring out what role to play is right. he should read our comment policy, specifically #7. http://mondoweiss.net/policy/

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 12:08 pm

        “figuring out what role to play is right.”

        He will go on arguing that Israel is the most powerful empire in the world. And can do anything it wants without consequences, and nothing which happens in the world will have any consequences (except good ones) for Israel. And simply ignore any contrary information.
        It’s hard to argue with that.

    • US Citizen
      US Citizen
      June 12, 2018, 7:12 pm

      @Am Perspective
      Democracy for whom?
      Israel is simultaneously running three systems of government.
      The first is full democracy toward its Jewish citizens — ethnocracy.
      The second is racial discrimination toward the Palestinian minority — creeping Jim Crowism.
      The third is occupation of the Palestinian territories with one set of laws for Palestinians and another for Jewish settlers — apartheid.

      Until every resident of the land over which Israel enforces control has equal rights and protections under the law it’s not a democracy.

      In addition, the Jewish only state is dead.
      Even more fundamentally, demographic trends mean that Israel can’t have it all. It can’t be a Jewish state, a democratic state, and a state in control of its whole mythologial land.
      It can only have two of its objectives at a time.
      Israel can be Jewish and territorial — but not democratic.
      Or it can be democratic and territorial — but not Jewish.
      Or finally, it can be Jewish and democratic — but not territorial.

      Jews are governed through a democratic system almost exclusively tailored for them, and Palestinians subsist under an Apartheid regime designed to keep them marginalized, occupied and oppressed. That is not ‘democracy’ no matter how much zionazi kool aid you drink.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2018, 7:32 pm

        “The first is full democracy toward its Jewish citizens — ethnocracy.”

        And there’s a hierarchy of denominations within the ethnocracy.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      June 12, 2018, 7:29 pm

      @American perpsective

      Could you point out anyone who has supported Palestinian political culture with specific reference??

    • Donald
      Donald
      June 13, 2018, 8:30 am

      “why don’t we try introducing civil nationalism to our neighbors in Cuba, Mexico and Quebec before we foist it on a small country half-way across the world which belongs to a completely different civilization”

      AP doesn’t mind us throwing our weight around in favor of Israel — he doesn’t mention it. That’s one of many signs that this isn’t a person arguing in good faith. Another is the way he contradicts himself on Israel being a liberal democracy. Instead of Israel running an apartheid system, he began by giving them credit for being a liberal democracy despite “the agitation it faces from a nationalist minority.” That’s a crude rhetorical trick. . Israel, a liberal democracy, is the victim, but maintains its incredibly high standards despite the attacks of a nationalist minority. But then he decides to adopt a different tack, abandons that claim, and goes for “ whataboutism”. The bloodless use of political science terminology to stand above the fray and make “ whataboutery” arguments is a standard pattern with a particular type of troll.

      I don’t think people should waste any more time with him unless you find him unintentionally funny.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 13, 2018, 9:48 am

        || Donald Johnson: … I don’t think people should waste any more time with him unless you find him unintentionally funny. ||

        He’s no Jack Green and the whole “feigned earnestness” thing has been done before but I find him amusing. I suspect that it won’t be too long before his approach devolves to making accusations of anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred”.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 13, 2018, 12:26 pm

        It is entertaining up to a point. One thing about some trolls is the choice of name. It is usually self aggrandizing in some way. My favorite from another blog or comment section years ago was somebody who called himself “ Objective Observer”. You immediately knew it was going to be someone spewing rightwing propaganda. I think in that case it was Islamophobic. Most people pick a pseudonym which is short or maybe a joke or part of their real name or anyway nothing grandiose, but some people want you to know that their views have some greater significance than those of some random guy on the internet. In this case we are getting the American Perspective.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 1:14 pm

        “That’s a crude rhetorical trick.”

        And his willingness, heck, eagerness, to employ it (and many others, starting with the nym) shows us the implacable devotion of Zionist advocates to their cause. So he wins either way. Just ask him, there’s no downside.

        Nope, I don’t think there is anything they can say or do in support of Israel which can hurt them.

        “…some of them very verbose…”

        Ah, there it is, “JeffB”, that was the name I’ve been trying to think of.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 13, 2018, 1:28 pm

        || Donald Johnson: … One thing about some trolls is the choice of name. It is usually self aggrandizing in some way. … ||

        What’s really funny is attempting to bolster the ‘cred’ of the username you so-cleverly chose by dropping the name of a Nobel Prize winner who – ooops! – was also a Nazi Party member and known anti-Semite.

        :-)

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 13, 2018, 1:36 pm

        || Mooser: … “…some of them very verbose…”

        Ah, there it is, “JeffB”, that was the name I’ve been trying to think of. ||

        Don’t forget Mikhael. He is easily JeffB’s equal in verbosity, IMO.

        Hell, even y.f.’s not too shabby when he’s on a misery bender.  ;-)

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        June 13, 2018, 3:12 pm

        @Mooser

        I see jeffb posting over at 972 sometimes. He hasn’t improved with age for sure. Still adheres to the rule of why use only 20 words when you can use 20,000.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 4:07 pm

        “I see jeffb posting over at 972 sometimes.”

        No wonder. That’s another site which has no particular investment in making Zionism or Zionists look good, isn’t it? That’s where you’ll find “JeffB”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 6:27 pm

        “Don’t forget Mikhael. He is easily JeffB’s equal in verbosity, IMO.”

        Good old “Mikhael”. He was the poster who claimed serial monogamy would save Zionism.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 14, 2018, 2:47 am

        “In this case we are getting the American Perspective.”

        As far as I am concerned, he blew his cover when he used the term “Eretz Yisrael”.
        I have responded a couple of times for the benefit of the casual reader, but that’s it.
        I hope he gets paid by the word. That will seriously deplete the Zionist coffers.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      June 13, 2018, 3:26 pm

      @American Perspective

      To be brief:
      Surely, it is obvious to any reasonably informed person that given the nature of its leadership before and after its “founding,” the entity known as “Israel” could only be fascistic and racist.

      To wit:

      https://www.haaretz.com/opi
      Jan 19, 2018 – Haaretz
      Opinion: “In Israel, Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism” by Zeev Sternhell.**

      EXCERPT:
      “I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?”

      Also:
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-gaza-border-killings-expose-israel-s-true-mentality-1.6032716
      Opinion: “Gaza Border Killings Expose Israel’s True Mentality
      And Bezalel Smotrich, like the cynical face of Avigdor Lieberman, reflects our own face, the face of Netanyahu’s advance guard for the West.”
      Zeev Sternhell Apr 27, 2018 – Haaretz

      ** Zeev Sternhell is a Polish-born Israeli historian, political scientist, commentator on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and writer. He is one of the world’s leading experts on fascism. Sternhell headed the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

      http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Hebrew-U-professor-Todays-Israel-similar-to-Nazi-Germany-497731
      Jerusalem Post June 23, 2017
      “Hebrew U professor: Israel today similar to Nazi Germany”
      “Dr. Ofer Cassif of Hebrew University faces heavy criticism after his students leaked a video recording from his political science class.” by Yocheved Laufer
      EXCERPT:
      “Hebrew University Professor, Dr. Ofer Cassif, compared recent Israeli legislation, both proposed and passed, to those of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, reported Channel 2 on Thursday as a recording of his class became public.
      “The statement occurred in a Politics and Government course as part of a preparatory college program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.”

      Zionism/fascism defined:
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-farm-terror-palestinian-vineyard-annihilated-with-chainsaws-1.6115888?utm_term=20180524-18%3A53&utm_campaign=Gideon+Levy&utm_medium=email&writerAlerts=true&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=www.haaretz.com%2Fisrael-news%2F1.6115888

      “A Palestinian Vineyard Annihilated With Chainsaws, With a Chilling Message in Hebrew. Vandals slashed hundreds of mature grape plants near Hebron, and the odds that the culprits will be caught are slim.” By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac. May 24/18 – Haaretz.
      EXCERPT:
      “The grapes are shriveled. The vineyard is dead. Reduced to a large, dried-out, yellowing stain in the heart of the verdant region along Highway 60 where the road runs past the town of Halhoul, north of Hebron. The ‘yellow wind’ that David Grossman wrote about 30 years ago is a dying vineyard here. Two plots of land, with hundreds of vines that were slashed, their stems and shoots sawed off – and within a week everything here had withered and died.

      “This is a particularly horrible sight because all the damage was wrought by the hand of man. A wicked, loathsome hand that hates not only Arabs but despises the land itself. In fact, we can assume that it wasn’t just one individual who raided and destroyed this vineyard late Tuesday night last week. To saw off that many plants in such a short time requires a few pairs of nasty hands. And someone also had to smear the threatening words in Hebrew on a rock: ‘We will reach everywhere.’ All before first light illuminated the dark deed.

      “When dawn broke, the owner of the vineyard, Dr. Haitham Jahshan, a hematologist, arrived and couldn’t believe his eyes. His vines had been ravaged. First he saw one sawed trunk, then another and another – a sea of butchered vines, whose grapes were grown to be eaten, not for wine – until the full scale of the calamity hit home.”

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 13, 2018, 3:44 pm

        You’re free to believe all that, which is the standard line among the far-right hardliners here on Mondoweiss and in the State of Palestine.

        But honestly, if you only read marginal cranks like Sternhall you are going to make serious errors in judgment about how things work. That’s what happened in Gaza, where the protestors entirely misread their Israeli neighbors.

        If you are committed to the ethnic passions of Arabic speakers in the State of Palestine, you (and them!) would be better served by fully understanding your enemy in all her complexity and nuance. Folks who describe things as “horrible”, “wicked, loathsome”, “despises the land” don’t just rile people up counterproductively. They are also analytically wrong and liable to make (and cause others to make) errors in judgment based on that unhinged misunderstanding of the situation.

        It would be like trying to understand the United States by only listening to extremists like Louis Farrakhan, Bernie Sanders, and Richard Spencer.

      • zaid
        zaid
        June 13, 2018, 4:33 pm

        Zionist perspective,

        “It would be like trying to understand the United States by only listening to extremists like Louis Farrakhan, Bernie Sanders, and Richard Spencer.”

        forget about the american extremists like Bernie Sanders!

        Lets focus on those extremists:

        Israeli lawmaker proclaims supremacy of ‘Jewish race’

        “Zohar at first denied that he had spoken about the supremacy of the “Jewish race,” but, presented with a recording of his earlier comments, doubled down and reiterated: “The Jewish people and the Jewish race are of the highest human capital that exists.”

        “What can you do? We were blessed by God… and I will continue to say that at every opportunity,” he said. “I don’t have to be ashamed about the Jewish people being the Chosen People; the smartest, most special people in the world.””

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-lawmaker-lauds-supremacy-of-jewish-race/

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 13, 2018, 7:35 pm

        Exactly!

        Bernie Sanders is a delusional crank. Abroad he’s best known for the death of tens of thousands of Venezuelans and, at home, he leads a parade of crackpots, utopians, and failures. It’s the “coalition of the oppressed” on acid.

        If someone wanted to understand our unprecedented military strength, our sizzling hot economy, the way we’ve achieved domestic harmony with the most diverse demographics of the Western world – the last people you would consult are marginal extremists like Farrakhan, Sanders and Spencer.

        Do they have a perspective? Yes! Is it an important one? Maybe.

        But you’ld have a pretty weird idea of why we’re growing our economy by a trillion dollars a year if you thought casting couch anal sex (Farrakhan), 1920s-era “democratic” socialism (Socialism), and the white ethnostate (Spencer) are the pressing issues of the day in the United States.

        Similarly, your perspective on the foreign country which this website obsesses is skewed in a very counterproductive way.

        There’s a translation by the Israeli Communist Party floating around of an article from a half-Century ago. The “A strategy for Israel in the 1980s” or something. The writer has a hot take that Israel should tear up the Carter peace plan and conquer the Suez canal and all sorts of other ideas.

        The article itself is anachronistic and humdrum.

        What is interesting is the plea by the translator. He addresses the Communist Movement globally and urges them to understand that their perspective on Israel is completely delusional. He explained it wasn’t Israel that was hurt in 1967 by those sorts of delusions – it was the Arab nationalist movement, and ultimately the Communist Party. Similarly, he says that the Communists are going to lose Egypt and Syria if they don’t understand Israel.

        I’d suggest that the far-right hardliners here on Mondoweiss would be better off having nuanced, informed conversations about Israel. Even conversations about how to defeat her or change her. But delusional fantasies and amplification of marginal cranks only helps Israel and her allies.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        June 14, 2018, 10:58 pm

        @ap

        Finding your place without too much trouble. But you have no idea how hard the skulls are here. No matter what you say, even the most critical things about Israeli political climate in regards to the surrounding region you will be branded a ‘paid by the Israeli government, professional hasbarist ‘ . That’s the go to insult/brush off here. One time I was accused of not only being a paid operative but a commenter ‘analyzed’ my own comments and deduced that I was in actuality three separate persons with three distinct writing styles,! Now that definitely cracked me up. He might have even implied that if I wasn’t 3 different folks that I might just be a genuine multi personality schizophrenic. Welcome to mw101

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 15, 2018, 3:10 am

        Abubakr

        One time I was accused of … being a paid operative

        That’s ridiculous. Agreed, the goons manning the (at least 4 different) Zionist paid-propaganda offices are none too bright but it’s hard to imagine them paying good money for marking an autogoal with each single Abubakr posting.

        Working for the Zionists because one genuinely believes in their nonsense is way worse than doing it for money.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        June 16, 2018, 12:44 am

        @ec

        nonetheless, that is exactly what I was accused of here on MW by somebody who either is or was at the time a regular commenter. However, as you seem to understand, an accusation like that would hardly make an impact on my opinions. But yes, I am devoted to a Zionist Jewish nation that is multi ethnic, religious, racial and extends equal civil rights to all citizens living as Israelis. I understand you view the state, the Jewish nation and the creation of modern israel with a much different perspective. I believe the canard that Zionism= racism is ironically one of the most racist views in the world albeit covered by condescending, convoluted and misleading propaganda

        *i have no idea how to search your archives but feel free if you doubt.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 16, 2018, 12:59 pm

        “*i have no idea how to search your archives but feel free if you doubt.”

        And the Hasbara commissariat pays you in spite of your computer illiteracy? What on earth for?

      • annie
        annie
        June 16, 2018, 1:38 pm

        shorter AP: “you’re free to believe” settlers annihilated a vineyard with chainsaws (as reported in the press) but it’s “analytically wrong” because i said so.

        zzzzzzio logic.

  3. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 12, 2018, 1:23 pm

    @AmericanPerspective

    Just to clarify then from an American Zionist Perspective point of view Israel is therefore the only Middle East Democracy as opposed to the much repeated”only Democracy in the Middle East”. Israeli citizens inc Israeli Jews wheter they have just fluttered in from Brooklyn or Golders Green are just like their fellow Arab citizens = Middle Eastern. Have I got that right ?

    • American Perspective
      American Perspective
      June 12, 2018, 6:46 pm

      I don’t really recognize a category of “Middle East”, or “Arab”. But I’ll address you on your terms.

      Democracy Index, an objective, peer-reviewed, internationally-recognized project of The Economist measures how democratic countries are.

      So for example, the powerful State of Palestine claims its authority comes from being a “democracy”. The Syrian Arab Republic obviously claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East (Ba’athism and SSNP – Arab Socialism and N*zism. respectively – claim to represent the mythic “authentic Arab identity” and that their policies are inherently democratic as the natural will of the Arab Volk) . Israel also claims to be a democracy.

      So measured objectively, Israel is in the “Flawed Democracy” level with France and the United States. That’s pretty good! And when considering the agitation Israel faces by a nationalist minority and ongoing wars – unmatched anywhere. So the “only democracy” claim can be made with a straight face.

      By contrast, the State of Palestine is listed as a low Hybrid Regime (authoritarian with some democratic elements); and the Syrian Arab Republic as full-on authoritarian. Turkey’s an interesting case because it had a democratic awakening in the late 2000s, early 2010s – but all that’s fallen apart since the coup attempt.

      So when people say “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East”, they don’t mean utopia. And Israel doesn’t claim to be some White Nordic, Civil and Social Democratic paradise on the Med. It means that Israel is broadly liberal democratic and in a category all its own for its peer group.

      • annie
        annie
        June 12, 2018, 7:41 pm

        So measured objectively, Israel is in the “Flawed Democracy” level with France and the United States. That’s pretty good!

        perhaps by that index, but when you examine how they are rated to earn the status the results are very different. for example, the US got a low score on “political participation” (7.22). meaning, lots of americans don’t vote. whereas, the ONLY other country in the flawed democracy grouping to get a score as low as 5.88 on civil liberties, besides israel of course, was tunisia. both the US and france scored over 8 pts in civil liberties. 8.24 and 8.53 respectively.

        besides, you can’t compare israel, an ethnocracy, to civil national states like france and the US, that’s absurd. even sheldon adelson when ask about israel not being a democracy answered “so what”.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 12, 2018, 7:49 pm

        || American Perspective: … So measured objectively, Israel is in the “Flawed Democracy” level with France and the United States. … ||

        And yet Zionists insist on defending the “Jewish State” by comparing it to – and pointing out that it’s not as bad as – Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, China and 19th-century America. Go figure.

        || … So when people say “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East”, they don’t mean utopia. … ||

        Even though they’re claiming that it’s a “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” state which, quite frankly, sounds pretty utopian.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 9:18 pm

        Annie Robbins:

        Quite right! For folks who see the world as it is, they realize things are not monocausal. Israel has restrictions on civil liberties, elements of which would be inconceivable in some other countries (e.g. a military censor, a millet religious system). On the other hand, Israel tolerates minority nationalism (specifically Arab nationalism) in a way that would be inconceivable in the West.

        And Israel has political participation – not merely voting rates – but general accessibility of its politicians and a broad range of viable political parties (including Arab nationalist political parties) that would put the West to shame.

        But all of this is academic.

        The takeaway is that Israel is a great democracy and considering how it’s dealt with minority nationalism (as against it’s peers in that regard, specifically Turkey, Morocco, Spain, and China) has done a great job of allowing broad political participation while avoiding almost all domestic political violence. And the idea that supporters of the State of Palestine would criticize Israel about “democracy” is laughable.

        And as an American, who is deeply complicit in the crimes of the Mexican government and the unjust repression of the Quebecois government, my worries about Israeli “human rights” issues is far down on the list.

      • American Perspective
        American Perspective
        June 12, 2018, 9:27 pm

        Eljay:

        But *you* do not see Israel as a utopia. So you have nothing to worry about.

        And to be honest, your belief that Zionists believe that the State of Israel and its people are perfect seems . . . improbable.

        I think all of us should look at things realistically. Israel is neither a utopia (which seems hard to square with its diversity of political parties, which implies there are at least 32 version of Israel on the offing – which version do Zionists believe to be perfect?) nor a dystopia (like many folks on Mondoweiss are convinced). Israel is just a middling country which is doing pretty good under the circumstances and has a lot to be proud of.

        As an American, it would be just weird to obsess over it, unless I have some other agenda going on. E.g., I hate Israel as a proxy for hating the United States; I love Israel as a proxy for loving my fellow Jews; I hate Israel as a proxy for hating White People; I love Israel as a proxy for loving minorities, etc . . . But that’s just delusional.

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 13, 2018, 7:31 am

        || American Perspective: Eljay:

        But *you* do not see Israel as a utopia. … ||

        Because it isn’t. But that doesn’t prevent Israel’s supporters from occasionally promoting it as one.

        || … So you have nothing to worry about. … ||

        I’m not worried.

        || … And to be honest, your belief that Zionists believe that the State of Israel and its people are perfect seems . . . improbable. … ||

        I never said I believe that Zionists believe that Israel and its Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens are perfect, so you’re not being honest at all.

        || … I think all of us should look at things realistically. … ||

        I agree that all of us – including Zionists – should look at things realistically:
        – Israel is a deliberately and unapologetically oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.
        – It refuses to be the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.
        – It refuses to end its decades-long and on-going occupation and colonization of territory outside of its / Partition borders;
        – It refuses to honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
        – It refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

        But that’s not the “realistically” you Zionists want either to look at or to have others look at.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 13, 2018, 8:51 am

        “As an American, it would be just weird to obsess over it, unless I have some other agenda going on. E.g., I hate Israel as a proxy for hating the United States; I love Israel as a proxy for loving my fellow Jews; I hate Israel as a proxy for hating White People; I love Israel as a proxy for loving minorities, etc . . . But that’s just delusional.”

        I just saw this. Note that the idea that people can focus on a particular issue or several different issues for various legitimate reasons isn’t on his list. The idea that we might have an obligation as Americans to care about Palestinians since we help oppress them isn’t there.

        If this guy hangs around you are going to see endless paragraphs of political science arguments all wheeled out to argue that no American should ever give two seconds of thought to Palestinians. There seem to be people attracted to political science so they can make arguments justifying the status quo. Some of them are very verbose.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 11:55 am

        Oy gevalt, another good typist. We’ve had those before.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2018, 2:10 pm

        ..“I hate…proxy, I love…proxy…I hate Israel as a proxy for hating White People”

        That’s funny, “AP” left out: “I love Israel as a proxy for loving White people”

        And that’s “White” with a capital “W” , y’all.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        June 13, 2018, 3:51 pm

        @American Perspective

        “The takeaway is that Israel is a great democracy….”

        Israel, i.e., west of the green line, ** is not and has never been a “democracy.”

        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, 2017: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: “Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid”
        https://www.youtube.com/wat

        In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, published in 2016, 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)

        Adi Ophir, professor of philosophy, Tel Aviv University: “…the adoption of the political forms of an ethnocentric and racist nation-state in general, are turning Israel into the most dangerous place in the world for the humanity and morality of the Jewish community, for the continuity of Jewish cultures and perhaps for Jewish existence itself.” (1998 issue of “Theory and Criticism,” published in Israel)

        Ilan Pappe, former professor of political science at Haifa University: “[Israel’s] political system [is] exclusionary, a pro forma democracy – going through the motions of democratic rule but essentially being akin to apartheid or Herenvolk (‘master race’) democracy.” (“Jerusalem Report,” Feb. 14/2000)

        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)

        **Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist, Bradley Burston, aptly sums up the horrors 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)

        Nor should we forget Gaza:
        The International Committee of the Red Cross: “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. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

        “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

        https://www.counterpunch.or
        Counterpunch, May 16, 2018
        “Kill and Kill and Kill,”by Saree Makdisi
        EXCERPT:
        “The demographer Arnon Sofer of Haifa University is the architect of the current isolation of Gaza. In 2004, he advised the government of Ariel Sharon to withdraw Israeli forces from within Gaza, seal the territory off from the outside world, and simply shoot anyone who tries to break out.”

      • zaid
        zaid
        June 13, 2018, 4:48 pm

        “Democracy Index, an objective, peer-reviewed, internationally-recognized project of The Economist measures how democratic countries are.”
        “So measured objectively, Israel is in the “Flawed Democracy” level with France and the United States. That’s pretty good! And when considering the agitation Israel faces by a nationalist minority and ongoing wars – unmatched anywhere. So the “only democracy” claim can be made with a straight face.”

        According to the very Index you are referring to, Tunisia is also a Flawed democracy so Israel is not the only democracy in the middle east by your own source.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index#Democracy_Index_by_country_(2017)

        “And when considering the agitation Israel faces by a nationalist minority ”

        Palestinians are the majority of the population and not a minority.

        “and ongoing wars – unmatched anywhere. So the “only democracy” claim can be made with a straight face.””

        Unmatched anywhere! really! what about Ukraine , Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Yemen…etc

        It is not even a war since Israel have F16’s and warships while Palestinians have nothing.

        “It means that Israel is broadly liberal democratic and in a category all its own for its peer group.”

        Its peer group by your democracy index includes Indonesia,Ghana,Namibia,Columbia, Botswana, Chile, Suriname..etc , Not really that impressive.

  4. bcg
    bcg
    June 12, 2018, 2:07 pm

    Relevant article from Haaretz, April:

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-contradiction-of-being-a-jewish-democratic-state-1.6009093

    What is the big threat posed by the New Israel Fund? Here is what Netanyahu says: “The overarching goal of the [New Israel] Fund is to erase the Jewish character of Israel and turn it into a state of all its citizens ” In other words, the threat facing us is that Israel will become “a state of all its citizens.” The ideal situation, it thus follows, is for Israel to be a state for only some and not all of its citizens. ..That is, if you are Jewish, the state is yours, but if you are of another religion, you can be a citizen and live in Israel, but Israel is not your country and never will be…

  5. bcg
    bcg
    June 13, 2018, 12:29 am

    @American Perspective: Tell us about the home demolitions.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 13, 2018, 9:34 am

    @americanpearspectiver
    I don’t really recognize a category of “Middle East”, or “Arab”. But I’ll address you on your terms.

    You haven`t addressed it. You have very clumsiley sidestepped it by blandly saying that in this instance don`t recognise “categories”. Presumably there are categories which you do recognise.You know like European,Asian,African etc.

    Once again are Jewish Israeli citizens Middle Eastern ?

    “On the other hand, Israel tolerates minority nationalism (specifically Arab nationalism) in a way that would be inconceivable in the West”

    You mean that America`s toleration of minority Israeli nationalism (AIPAC etc ad nauseum) is different?

    • American Perspective
      American Perspective
      June 13, 2018, 12:00 pm

      In classical Jewish literature, Palestine was known as “Ma’aravah” (“The West”). In much of Eastern Europe, which was an Ashkenazi Jewish heartland during the early modern period, shuls were oriented South toward Palestine. Out in LA and the Southwest, Jews face North in a great circle route to face the Temple Mount.

      So the term “Orient” (Eastern) or Middle East, is a Euro-centric geographical term. For Jews and Americans it is not a naturally coherent category. And as a political matter, the contemporary term is actually “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA) – but even that assumes some sort of “Arab” identity or a geographical basis of identity. .

      I reject that entirely.

      It think T.E. Lawrence’s exotic and at one time exciting idea of an “Arab” identity is long pass its sell-date. If there was any debate about this issue, I think the last half-decade in the Syrian Arab Republic has settled the issue.

      As for how we deal with it – we do have Mexican and Black and White and Jewish and other nationalists. Just this weekend, the Puerto Rican day parade took over Manhattan. But in the United States, folks who want to go far in politics have to embrace the contemporary rhetoric, which changes over time (e.g. Obama’s opposition to gay marriage when he ran for president v. Trump’s embrace of gay marriage when he ran 8 years later) but which emphatically does not include small-minded oppositional nationalist ideals; while in Israel the oppositional minority nationalists sit in the Knesset.

      • bcg
        bcg
        June 13, 2018, 1:05 pm

        @American Prospect: tell us about the home demolitions.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        June 13, 2018, 3:57 pm

        @American Perspective

        http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087/full
        Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087

        EXCERPT:
        “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish”
        “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.”

        Furthermore:
        “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

        “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 14, 2018, 7:30 am

    @AmericanPerspective.

    “So the term “Orient” (Eastern) or Middle East, is a Euro-centric geographical term. For Jews and Americans it is not a naturally coherent category. And as a political matter, the contemporary term is actually “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA) – but even that assumes some sort of “Arab” identity or a geographical basis of identity. ”

    Still haven`t answered a straight forward question as in “Is Israel a Middle Eastern country”
    You duck and dive and drivel on about not recognising categories or categories being “not naturally categories” having blithely opened with the obvious categorisation of Europe (Euro-centric).

    So once again and for the last time. Is Israel a Middle Eastern country? Hey I will even settle for the MENA answer. Just to give you some sense of bearings. I am a UK citizen.The UK is a European country and yes it will continue to be so after Brexit.France is a European country etc etc. China is an Asian country.India is an Asian country etc etc.

    BTW Loved the spintastic response to my question about your claim that Zioland
    “tolerates minority nationalism (specifically Arab nationalism) in a way that would be inconceivable in the West”

    Don`t fret too much about the dizzy spells – they come with the BS you are obliged to spout.

  8. lenny
    lenny
    June 19, 2018, 10:36 pm

    Ossinev.

    To spout or sprout,that is the question.Zioland obviously does not “tolerate” arab nationalism to the same extent that the west does.
    The grand mufti of jerusalem,an arab nationalist, stated the following (taken from Wikipedia)

    “On January 9, 2012, while addressing a crowd at an event marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, Hussein quoted a hadith (saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), stating: “The Hour will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”[3]”

    The overthrow of Gaddafi is a good example of the west opposing arab nationalists for one reason or another.The question i would be asking is Fatah an arab nationalist party and what place would jews have in a Palestinian state.

    • Keith
      Keith
      June 20, 2018, 10:29 am

      LENNY- “…Hussein quoted a hadith….

      You can take your alleged quote and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Jews were treated relatively well in the Muslim Middle East until the Zionists arrived and began terrorizing the natives. For a long time, and particularly recently, it is primarily the Jewish Israelis who have done the killing and primarily the Palestinians and other Arabs who have done the bleeding. And you have the f*****g gall to ask “what place would jews have in a Palestinian state. One would hope that it would be significantly better than what the Palestinians have in a Jewish state and Jewish occupied territories. This, in spite of the animosity which surely accrued to Israeli actions. But since Zionist Israel is adamantly opposed to a Palestinian state, that isn’t going to happen, hence, Israel needs to stop the Gaza slaughter and end the blockade. And Zionist Jews need to grow a conscience.

      • lenny
        lenny
        June 20, 2018, 3:19 pm

        Hi Keith

        Thank you for answering my question but i would still like to hear from ossinev.I take it that you speak for all palestinians when you state.

        “One would hope that it would be significantly better than what the Palestinians have in a Jewish state and Jewish occupied territories. “

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 20, 2018, 6:09 pm

        LENNY- “.I take it that you speak for all palestinians when you state.”

        My conclusion is based upon decades of real history. Israel’s behavior has been deplorable and extraordinarily egregious with the continued murder of thousands of Palestinians in the illegally blockaded open air prison called Gaza, now deemed unlivable by the UN. So no, I can’t imagine the Palestinians behaving as sadistically toward Jews as Zionist Jews behaved behaved toward them. If pre-Zionist Palestine is any indication, non-Zionist Jews living among Palestinians would have been treated quite well, as they were before the Zionists came with their terror and ethnic cleansing. As I said, Zionists (I assume you?) need to grow a conscience and stop treating non-Jews as sub-human expendables to be murdered and starved at Israel’s whim. Have the Palestinians no right to security? Check the body count to see who is being killed and who is doing the killing. Or has your Zionist solidarity overwhelmed any semblance of human decency?

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    June 20, 2018, 11:12 am

    @Lenny
    Perhaps then you can rescue a beleaguered and bewildered AmericanPerspective by answering the question ” Is Israel a Middle Eastern Country ?”

    BTW “To spout or not to sprout”. Are you some sort of gardener with a Shakespeare fixation ?

    TTFN

    • lenny
      lenny
      June 20, 2018, 3:24 pm

      Hi ossinev

      Israel is not a middle eastern country as there is no place called the “middle east”.I hope that clears up any confusion about the geographical location of israel.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 20, 2018, 4:51 pm

        “Israel is not a middle eastern country as there is no place called the “middle east”.I hope that clears up any confusion about the geographical location of israel.”

        Ha! “Lenny” I’ve been telling these guys :”Just you wait til “lenny” gets here, and sets you all straight on the geography and a whole lot more!”

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 20, 2018, 7:45 pm

        || lenny: … Israel is not a middle eastern country as there is no place called the “middle east”.I hope that clears up any confusion about the geographical location of israel. ||

        https://www.google.ca/search?q=gov.il+middle+east

        Hmmm…

      • lenny
        lenny
        June 21, 2018, 2:05 am

        Ignorance is a virtue only the stupid can afford

        http://teachmideast.org/articles/what-is-the-middle-east/

      • eljay
        eljay
        June 21, 2018, 8:52 am

        || lenny: Ignorance is a virtue only the stupid can afford … ||

        And it is clearly within your means.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 22, 2018, 11:43 am

        “And it is clearly within your means.”

        He gets it wholesale.

  10. lenny
    lenny
    June 21, 2018, 4:22 pm

    Eljay ever read linh at unz.love this parrot paragraph

    https://www.unz.com/ldinh/postliterate-america/#comments

    , for nearly everyone is on social media, all day long, where they can broadcast themselves. From reading about their town, people now upload endless selfies and self-important proclamations. Everyone is his own news, superstar and universe. Self-publishing, each man is an insanely prolific author, of gibberish, mostly, delivered to almost nobody, but it’s all good, for he can endlessly worship his preening self, on a screen, an intoxicating experience. With FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram, everybody is famous all the time, to himself.

    • eljay
      eljay
      June 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

      || lenny: … love this parrot paragraph …

      Self-publishing, each man is an insanely prolific author, of gibberish, mostly, delivered to almost nobody, but it’s all good, for he can endlessly worship his preening self, on a screen, an intoxicating experience. … ||

      I see why you love it: It fits you to a ‘t’.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 21, 2018, 5:45 pm

      ” everybody is famous all the time, to himself.”

      It’s true, “Lenny”. Just look how much your fame has increased since you registered and started commenting at Mondo.

      • lenny
        lenny
        June 21, 2018, 11:37 pm

        Thank you “mooser”.

        How can one be forthcoming without coming forth.in the hour of darkness before dawn we are all but a tyrants pawn.

        mcohen 2018

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 22, 2018, 11:42 am

        “mcohen 2018”

        “mcohen” hasn’t commented since 2017.

  11. lenny
    lenny
    June 22, 2018, 4:32 pm

    This was on another site.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 23, 2018, 1:22 pm

      “This was on another site.” “lenny”

      Link, please. Google doesn’t show it. Lest thy fame decrease.

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