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‘We are going to abolish this law’– Aida Touma-Sliman on Jewish nation-state law

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
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I go to so many speeches on the Middle East that they blur, but last week I was so bowled over by a Palestinian speaker, both her presence and words, that we wanted to provide a transcript of her remarks. Aida Touma-Sliman is a Palestinian member of Knesset. She reminds me of a charismatic congresswoman, a Pat Schroeder or Bella Abzug. She is mature, thoughtful, direct, and also conservative, in her concern for order.

Touma-Sliman gives any American liberal a place to stand because as you will see, her overriding values are equality and dignity. She doesn’t seem to care what the state calls itself so long as it can guarantee as much to Palestinians; but the Hadash Party member reports that Israel has completely failed on that score. (And this is a person who has respect for the Jewish historical narrative that brought so many Jews to Palestine.)

Her remarks are newsworthy for several reasons. First, Touma-Sliman explains in a precise manner how the new nation-state law has officially established apartheid as the law in the entire “land of Israel” from river to sea. The law ends the two-state solution and makes official the claim, “A land without a people for a people without a land.” And so-called liberal Zionists were the first to put this law forward.

Second, Touma-Sliman states that she and many others in Israel and Palestine are going to “resist” this law till it is abolished, including by showing that it violates international law. P.S. Touma-Sliman is in hot water back in Israel over her New York trip because she went to the U.N. and surely discussed what the world is going to do about the racist law.

Third, she shows that the nation-state law is coupled with the highly-anticipated Trump “deal of the century,” in foreclosing the possibility of a Palestinian state and permitting the annexation of large portions of the West Bank.

Fourth, she tells us she was thrilled by that August 11 demonstration in Tel Aviv against the nation state law that brought together Jews and Palestinians. There is a vision of a hopeful future of reform in her speech. Liberal Zionists ought to be embracing this person, regardless of what that means to the Zionist project.

Touma-Sliman began her speech  on August 18 at Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York by saying she had intended to talk about Gaza on her trip, but that the passage of the law making Israel “the nation state of the Jewish people” changed her plan. What follows are substantial excerpts of the speech. Annie Robbins and I transcribed it and trimmed it.

“This is a basic law that was legislated in the Knesset one hour before we left for our summer recess. At exactly 5 o’clock in the morning, like thieves in the night, the law was voted on. And for my regret, it passed, and it became a basic law in Israel, and with legislating this law, officially, Israel has become, in my opinion, the only and the last apartheid regime in this world.

“Many people would tell me, But what’s new? Israel has been discriminating against its Palestinian citizens and practicing policies of oppression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories since 70 years ago. What is new about a law that is giving a very basic base for discrimination and for avoiding even to think about equality and democracy. What’s new?

“I think there is a lot to speak about when we are talking about this law.

“It’s going to be three years since I was visiting the United States on a speaking tour. It was two months after we were elected to the Knesset… in the Joint List. I don’t know how many of you know about this achievement that we managed to put together. Four different parties ran for the Knesset together. Although we are coming from different ideological backgrounds from the Islamists to the Communists, we came together, and the main idea behind it was to give a big answer to also another law that was legislated, one election before that raised the threshold for the Knesset in a way that would never allow any of the four parties who are representing mainly the Palestinian community inside Israel and the democratic Jewish forces to be represented in the Knesset.

“Everybody thought that the right wing in Israel managed to find a way to keep us away from being politically represented in the Knesset, [and] we managed to put together the Joint List. We went to election and actually we raised the numbers of MK’s who are representing the Joint List into 13 members, and we became the third faction in the Knesset.

“We thought, Great, now we have an opportunity really to influence things and to change and maybe to direct the political situation in Israel into more democracy, into more equality, into more peaceful policies that might get eventually to a situation where we might end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“The reaction from the right wing was very aggressive.

“I remember… when I was speaking with people in the United States, some of the audience looked very strangely to me and I thought that maybe I am exaggerating and maybe I’m a little bit imagining things about Israel and about the right wing in Israel. Because I was speaking about three major policies that would be led by Netanyahu’s government for this candidacy [election]. The first one was:

“–Netanyahu, one day before the last election in 2015, promised that he would take all the efforts to avoid establishing a Palestinian state beside Israel, one day before the election! I thought that in this candidacy Netanyahu would really work hard to implement his promise. To avoid, and actually, to eliminate a Palestinians state beside the state of Israel.

“–The second one was the incitement against the Palestinian community, the Arab citizens of Israel. And if you remember very well, not one day before the election but on the day of the election, Netanyahu said his famous sentence, ‘They are coming in groups [droves] to vote, and you should rescue the situation.’ He called upon the Jewish majority to come and vote because the Arabs are coming and voting. And everyone looked at it as an expression of racism. And I took it a little further and said, “It’s not only a racist way to speak about your own citizens, who are practicing a very basic right of voting, of participating. … They are called a dangerous group, as if they are acting in a terrorist way. This is not only a racist way to put it, but also anti-democratic. We noticed from that point that Netanyahu is taking off the mask of the only democracy in the Middle East, and he is going with his government to act to eliminate as possible the democratic basis that is still existing in the regime in Israel.

“–The third thing that was emphasized at that point is we noticed that he, with his government, is going to attack all the other columns or other parts of the democratic regime, like the judiciary system and the media in Israel.

“When you look today at what’s happening in the last three years, you understand that the basic law, the Jewish Nation State law, is actually a result of a process that did start way back. Not only in the last candidacy in 2015. This law was brought to the Knesset first in 2011, and not by Likud members. It was brought by who is now sitting in the Zionist Camp… by Tzipi Livni’s party. There were different versions. Meanwhile they changed a little bit in the articles of the law, but the last version that was legislated one month ago– it’s a horrible law. It should be an alert for everybody who is still thinking that the situation in Israel is proceeding to a better situation. On the contrary we believe that this law is bringing us into a dangerous situation…

“There are three different groups of Arabs who are affected directly by this law. One is the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Second is the Palestinian citizens or residents of East Jerusalem. Third are the Syrians who are living in the occupied Golan occupied Heights. These groups are affected directly because this law is putting them, not even  — in the beginning we used to say we are second degree citizens — by this law we are totally absent. We didn’t get the second degree or the third degree citizenship. Because if you read the articles of the law, we do not exist there. This law is supposed to define the state of Israel, to define who are the citizens, who are the people of the state, and what are the different components that bring together a state. Like the anthem, like the flag, like all the components. When the law mentions “who are the people” that this state belong to or they belong to the state– we are not mentioned at all.

“It’s the state for the Jewish people all over the world. Not only citizens of Israel, but all over the world. In this law Israel actually opened its borders totally. There is no borders written in this law. It mentions what is the flag, it mentions what is the anthem, it mentioned who are the people, it mentioned who are the superior people inside Israel. But not the borders.

“And what is more dangerous is the fact that the law starts with two words. It starts with the land of Israel… The biblical land of Israel is not only including the West Bank, but it might also reach to Jordan and beginning of Iraq. And when you are legislating a basic law that is the component of the future constitution of Israel, and you do not mention the borders, and at the same time, sometimes in the articles you are using ‘land of Israel’ and sometimes ‘state of Israel,’ in order to create this confusion, as if ‘land of Israel’ is the same [as] ‘state of Israel,’ what you are saying is you are talking about the whole historical Palestine, or what is called in the basic law, the whole historical land of Israel.

“Sometimes the context that a law is legislated is very important in the interpretation of the law itself. [That context] is talking about an annexation of land, an annexation of settlements which are existing on Palestinian land in the West Bank. When you see that 26 laws are brought into the Knesset in the last two years, and those laws are racist, are directed against the Palestinian community and the Palestinian people, and it is also including components of annexation of Palestinian occupied land– Then you have to interpret this mixture of Israel land and state of Israel as speaking about the whole historical Palestinian land.

“Another article is very clear in this basic law: that Jerusalem, ‘unified Jerusalem,’ meaning East and West Jerusalem, of course which is hosting now the embassy of the United States, regretfully, is going to be the eternal capital of Israel.

“This is against international law and international resolutions. Because the international resolutions say very clearly that Jerusalem is an occupied territory, East Jerusalem is an occupied territory and it’s supposed to be– we hope it is going to be the capital of Palestine alongside Israel…. And this law cannot be legal as long as it is in contradiction, in many of its components, to international law.

“What is new about this law? If discrimination has existed– and it existed in Israel against the Arab citizens of Israel, against the Palestinian citizens of Israel– what is new about this law is that discrimination is stopping to be the not-normal situation. Actually this law creates a situation where discrimination is legal. Discrimination is the normal. And equality is the abnormal situation.

“Throughout the basic law there is not even once that the word equality is mentioned, or democracy. Usually in any constitution, equality for all citizens of the state is one of the conditions for having any constitution. Usually constitutions are built on two conditions. First, consent among the people of the state. And I’m telling you, there is no consent, it was passed by 62 members of the Parliament versus 55 of the Knesset and two abstained. Nobody asked the opinion of 20 percent of the citizens of Israel, the Palestinians, what they think about this basic law. When we said clearly we are against this law, nobody wanted to listen to that.

“The second condition for any constitutional legislation is the fact that it should guarantee equality of treatment for all citizens of any country and guarantee individual and collective rights for minorities. And this law, it’s not just that is does not guarantee, on the contrary it says very clearly, that it’s going to discriminate against 20% of the people who are citizens of Israel. It says very clearly in different items but also in one clear article that says developing and initiating Jewish settlements is a national priority. It’s written very clearly:

“The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and shall act to encourage and promote its establishment and strengthening.”

“Which means all the discriminatory policies that could have been challenged in the past, either by public actions or by legal processes; going to the Supreme Court, trying to change these policies, politically to affect the situation on the ground– it’s going to change from now. On the contrary, now who can really appeal to the Supreme Court? Those who do not want equality, those who want to intensify discrimination.

“I will give you just a very simple example. We have development budgets that are given to the local authorities by the central government in order to enhance and develop… localities. In the past there was discrimination in these budgets. We could appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for equal budgets as full citizens of the country, of the state. Now if there will be any minister in the future who would dare to think that he should give equal budgets to Jewish localities and Arab localities, this equal policy can be challenged now: going to the Supreme Court, and saying, ‘No, he cannot treat us equally, because it is written in the law that Jewish settlements have a superiority and have a special treatment from now on.’

“It has come upside down: from equality as a norm, and you can challenge discrimination, to discrimination is going to be the norm, and you have to challenge it.

“But the most dangerous side of this law lies in the fact that it is an attempt to close the door finally on the two state solution. Of course you hear very much these days about the Century Deal. I can see that you already know what I am going to speak about. Nobody knows what the Century Deal is going to be like…. Read this basic law, because in my opinion it contains all what is thought about to be the Century Deal.

“This law is not only challenging the future of democracy, equality, full citizenship inside Israel. It is challenging the historical narrative of that piece of land back home in the Middle East that is called by some the land of Israel and it’s called by some, historical  Palestine. It says at the beginning:

“The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people in which the state of Israel was established. The state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people in which it realizes its national, cultural, religious and historical right to self determination.”

“It says very clearly, you remember the slogan ‘People with no land came to a land with no people’? It’s the free interpretation… in this law. It erases the whole Palestinian narrative and only concentrates on one narrative. In my opinion it’s not the Jewish narrative, it’s the Zionist narrative. For me there is a difference between the Zionist narrative and the Jewish narrative.

“In this law one article says:

“In Israel there is a right of self determination solely for the Jewish people.”

“Which means that it denies the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people…. It means that in the whole land of Israel there is only the right of self determination for the Jewish people. Equal? No right of self determination for the Palestinian people. It’s only the beginning for denying the whole, agreed-upon solution for the continuous occupation of the Palestinian territories, occupied in 1967.

“When there is no right to self determination, when Jerusalem, united, is the eternal capital of Israel, when historically this is the land of the Jewish people, then actually we are not only closing the door… this law is finalizing that there will never be a state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel…

“The law is not only anti-democratic, we claim that it is establishing officially the apartheid regime inside Israel. And why are we saying an apartheid regime? Because, there are very clear components:

“– When you deny the fact that there are 20% of your citizens;

“– When you do not agree to include equality and you do not agree to include democracy and you say that one part of your citizens are superior to others.

“We claimed in the past that there is a deep contradiction between the definition of a Jewish and democratic state, and of course there was a lot of debate going on about that because some Jewish people believe that ‘No, there is a possibility to continue to be a Jewish state and to be democratic’ and we claimed that whenever there is a contradiction… the state usually wanted and supported the Jewishness of the state over the democratic side of the state.

“Now it’s very clear. When we got to a situation of contradiction, the Knesset says very clearly, ‘By this law, end of story, we don’t need to get into that dilemma anymore.’ Democracy is aside, democracy is neglected from the basic law. It’s not mentioned as the way the regime will exist in Israel, and it’s going to be only Jewish.

“This is a clear statement that is coming out of this law. Even when we are talking about the language of the state. By this law suddenly they mention that the only official language is Hebrew.  Many argue and say, ‘But there’s nothing in the law that says Arabic was an official language in Israel.’ This is not true, because Israel, when it was established adopted a law, an Ottoman law, relating to many things in the the ordinary life of the people… and among others this law says very clearly there are three official languages in historical Palestine; English, Hebrew and Arabic.

“They denied English as the official language, and now they are canceling Arabic as an official language. If we in the past could appeal to the Supreme Court and say, ‘We need all the services delivered by the state,’ all the official documents can also be produced in Arabic, you can testify in a court in Arabic in your own language and the court should bring a translator to translate  your testimony, now we cannot do it, Arabic is not an official language….

“For us, Arabic, official or not official, Arabic is not only a language, Arabic is a culture, Arabic is a way of life, Arabic is our way of expression, Arabic is our literature, is our history. It’s way beyond being an official language or not, it is connected to our — I don’t know how you say it in English? Sumud. Is there anything in English for sumud?”

[Audience member: “Steadfastness”.]

“OK, steadfast.”

[Audience member: “To stay in place.”]

“This is one of our ways of staying in our homeland and continue to be as a national group developing and evolving. So for us, if it’s going to be official or not, this is the language that we are going to protect because it’s one of our ways to protect ourselves; as indigenous people, as a national minority.

“If I would have come to this tour two weeks ago… I would have come here very depressed. Last Saturday we were more than 60,000 people in Tel Aviv streets marching against the Nation State Law. [Applause.] And the good thing, We were not Palestinian Arabs alone, we were Jews and Arabs, Israelis, marching in the streets of Tel Aviv and saying we are not going to tolerate or coexist with this law. We are going to resist this law and we are going to abolish this law. That’s a decision we make. A lot of people say how are you going to abolish a basic law? A lot of our people, even in the beginning when we started talking about this, said ‘You are dreaming.’ They said, You know what, our fathers, our grandfathers lived under the military regime since 1948 up til 1965, and all that time there were crazy dreamers like me who said we are going to abolish the military regime, and it happened. They succeeded to do it and it was abolished. And we could continued after that. Not happily after but we continued.

“That’s the situation with this law. We are not going to tolerate a situation where anybody is telling us that there are superior people and there are some people, 20 percent of the citizens of Israel, who their status is not defined, their status is not mentioned.

“We are not going to tolerate a situation where any law is telling us that our people are going to continue to live under occupation. The Palestinians do not want to live under occupation. You see them since March in Gaza marching every Friday, in the Return March because they do not want to continue to live under occupation. In the West Bank also the people are very determined to get rid of the Israeli occupation.

“And you know what, there are Israeli Jewish people who want to get rid of that occupation. They are not paying the same price as the Palestinians, but they are still paying a price.

“For all those reasons we started to work very hard the day after the law, and we are going to continue our resistance to this law. We are going to continue to work against it on four different levels.

“Parliamentary. I have to tell you there were voices among us saying you have to abstain your membership in the Knesset because of this law. [But] I and … my party have this opinion: On the contrary, they wanted to push us away from the Knesset by raising the threshold and we came back even stronger! Now they want to push us out of the legal, equal citizenship. We are going to continue and we will be stronger, and we will change it.

“The other level we are continuing is the mass protest against this law. We started with that big demonstration which was the first step and we are continuing.  We will have more actions in the future. We would like to see you part of the solidarity movement when we have actions.

“The third is the legal because there are now eight appeals in front of the Israeli Supreme Court against this law. We are not that hopeful because, to our regret, the current very rightwing government managed to change the situation inside the judiciary system and inside the Supreme Court… They said this very clearly… they want a ‘pluralist’ judiciary system. So they brought in more very rightwing settler justices into the Supreme Court. That is why we are not hopeful… But at least the [Supreme Court will] have to address this law. They have to criticize it, there’s no way to avoid that. We will use whatever comes from there to intensify the struggle against it.

“The third is the international arena. And coming here and talking to you is part of the effort of making the world understand  We are confronting a new situation in Israel. And that the old paradigm cannot continue. There is a new reality and everybody should understand that.

“On the level of the people, and on the level of the decision makers, I’m not going to speak to your president at this point, (laughter) but we are going to be in contact with different governments all over the world in order to make them understand, what does it mean to hold all the people inside Israel and the Palestinian people, captured by this law, hostages by this law, condemned for a life without democracy without equality under an apartheid regime?

“I said at the beginning and I will emphasize again, this law is actually challenging two things. It’s not only challenging the Palestinians, it’s challenging the Jews, also in Israel. It’s challenging the narrative, the history, and it’s challenging the future of the people, both people.

“In one of my presentations about this law to people from my constituency, one of the old men in the audience told me, ‘Why you are so angry about this law? All those governments, all those regimes who took that path collapsed eventually. All those who started to act in a fascist way eventually had to go.’

“I said, ‘Yes, but it didn’t happen by itself.’

“This is the main issue. Their people did not sit and wait for them to collapse. We need to make them collapse. We need to act very seriously. I think it’s not up to anybody to decide that the Palestinian people should continue to suffer.

“A lot of people would say this is a beginning of the one state solution. I’m saying this kind of one state solution– it’s not the beginning of that kind, it’s already existing! But it is not a democratic, secular, equal one state. It’s an apartheid state.

“This is what is demanded now from the Palestinians: for them to accept, to sit and wait and see that this apartheid regime continues to control for many years to come, until it will collapse. No! It doesn’t work like this. History has told us that it doesn’t work like this. People will continue to fight for a better future.

“I said at the beginning it’s not going to be easy to abolish this law, because, for my regret, the majority of those who voted against the law, I mean the so-called Zionist left parties are not raising the demand of abolishing this law. They are saying ‘let’s correct it, let’s make some changes in that law’ and you have to remember some who have voted against it now,  have submitted different versions of that law in the last 7 or 8 years.

“Actually we need now to bring the real discussion into the surface, of what kind of a state of Israel you want to live in? What kind? It means you need to define. Is it going to be a colonial state like it is now by this law? Is it going to be the state — I call this law the annexation law of the state of Israel to the state of settlers. It’s not annexing the settlers to the state of Israel, it’s annexing Israel to the state of settlers that is already controlling very much inside Israel.

“This discussion is going to take some time inside Israel to evolve into a normal situation. This situation will never be a normal democratic situation without ending the occupation over the Palestinian people in 1967 territories and without establishing the Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel with East Jerusalem as the capital and the right of return for all the refugees.

“Two months ago you would have heard all the Knesset members, all the ministers, all the media in Hebrew, saying about us, the Arab Palestinian MKs, that we do not deal with the rights of our own constituency, we are all the time focusing on the Palestinian issue in general. Of course it would have been an honor to be called this: that this is what I was doing.

“We are doing both, but for the first time the Knesset admitted by its basic law that there is no way to distinguish between the two issues. There is no way to separate the struggle for the civil rights inside Israel from the anti-occupation struggle and for the peace struggle. They decided… to admit it in a law. We knew this from the beginning, and we will continue to fight in that way.”

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About Philip Weiss

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

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59 Responses

  1. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    August 30, 2018, 11:54 am

    Sorry for not reading all of this article, I’d like to comment on the nation state law.

    The most egregious portion of the law in my eyes is the demotion of Arabic. This seems to set the tone of exclusivity, noncooperation and malice.

    Personally, from my view of things, I would sign a treaty with the Palestinians that would allow hundreds of thousands of refugees to return to Green Line Israel. With good will in mind (in this theoretical world that I am envisioning) cooperation would be the key and the demographic risks would be worthwhile in order to begin a process of reconciliation.

    This obviously is not the view of the vast majority of Israelis. Even most of those who would call themselves left Zionists view the Arab/Palestinians as a demographic threat and as such a policy of unlimited Jewish immigration is promoted whereas Arab/Palestinian immigration is as limited as possible.

    Since that is a point of view that I understand (I term my view as taking a risk) and the question is: if you consider this point of view racist, what is the difference between the nation state law and that point of view, other than the official stamp of “basic law”? My view is that the spirit of reconciliation must override (with wise navigation and a little bit of luck) concern over demographic risks, but I recognize that a spirit of reconciliation is currently absent and nowhere on the horizon.

    The leftist/centrist Zionists that I know for the most part are wedded to the idea of Palestinian recognition of Jewish rights in Palestine, not exclusive Jewish rights as exemplified by this law, but an acknowledgment that the Jews are naturals to the neighborhood. Without this recognition by the Palestinians any treaty signed will be in effect a cease fire. Only an acknowledgment of Jewish group rights (of a nonexclusive nature) will signal a peace rather than a mere cease fire.

    I think this law was extraneous and its bad spirit is clearest in its demotion of Arabic. The move towards reconciliation got a boost from the joint demonstration on August 11th, but still is in its infancy. I think that even a law that somehow embodied the policy of unlimited Jewish immigration and highly limited Palestinian immigration would have offended almost everyone reading here, but in fact could have been worded in a way that defined self determination and citizenship as separate issues, (self determination only for Jews and citizenship for all.) I think that this law is a further sign how far the two sides are from reconciliation and it embodies an immature insecure isolated Zionism.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 30, 2018, 12:57 pm

      y.f., I applaud you for trying to sound reasonable. Unfortunately, everything you write with regard to I-P – reasonable sounding or otherwise – is underpinned by the premise* that the religion-based identity of Jewish comprises a right to Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      I hope one day to see you write about justice, accountability and equality in I-P.
      _____________
      (*In Zio-speak, this is referred to as “self-determination” (not to be confused with self-determination).)

    • annie
      annie
      August 30, 2018, 2:06 pm

      Sorry for not reading all of this article, I’d like to comment on the nation state law.

      The most egregious portion of the law in my eyes …

      how utterly disrespectful of you yonah, to grab top comment to divert from what Aida Touma-Sliman, (who knows a lot more about this law than you do) has to say but instead talk about what you have to say. it took a long time to transcribe this, for your benefit. maybe take the time to actually read the text before spewing forth your opinion, which might even be impacted (changed) based on what you might learn about the law from Touma-Sliman.

      in the future, if you’re going to NOT even read the article, but instead use the thread to pontificate your personal opinions, could you at least have the courtesy not to highjack the top comment. “sorry” is no excuse for this rude behavior.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 30, 2018, 2:14 pm

        I think yonah fancies himself as some sort of philosopher sitting on high….

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 31, 2018, 2:44 pm

        “I think yonah fancies himself as some sort of philosopher sitting on high….”

        “Philosopher”? Perhaps, but aspiring to become Shaman.

    • Donald
      Donald
      August 30, 2018, 2:14 pm

      Yonah—

      Without getting into details, which might lead to yelling and screaming and chair throwing and that’s just me getting warmed up, nevermind what you would do, I suspect that if most Israelis were like you they could meet with Palestinians and some kind of mutually acceptable solution for both sides could be arranged . Good intentions count for something. They aren’t enough, but it is a start.

      Not sure what group rights would entail, but that’s where the yelling might or might not begin.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 30, 2018, 2:59 pm

        Annie has a point. It would have been better to wait for others to have posted and yeah, reading the piece first before giving your thoughts.

      • gamal
        gamal
        August 30, 2018, 4:25 pm

        “I suspect that if most Israelis were like you they could meet with Palestinians and some kind of mutually acceptable solution for both sides could be arranged ”

        “mutually acceptable”..? what! You don’t like justice all of a sudden? but you do know what Palestinians should accept, its the cowboy law.

        “Not sure what group rights would entail” I think it means they can have a casino after we have robbed them of everything else, that’s progress, surprised an American doesn’t know how it works.

        after a century not sure how much negotiation we have left in us, we prefer to keep all our trees, fields and springs, if you don’t mind, it’s not what you should be talking to Israelis or their supporters about, old boy, this is our land and world, you don’t have a say, Donald, except on the basis of your ongoing crimes and we aren’t going to help you out with those when it comes up, when morality hits you right between your eyes.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 30, 2018, 5:32 pm

        Guess what, Donald. Lots of Azraeli invaders who sound “reasonable” have talked to lots of gullible or desperate Palestinians over the years. The “reasonable” ones, even those who, unlike our Fredman, sound halfway coherent, did that as a delegation with a specific purpose on behalf of the Zionist leadership and screwed the Palestinian side even worse than before –there’s your “some kind of mutually acceptable solution”.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 30, 2018, 8:12 pm

        “You don’t like justice all of a sudden? “

        I won’t argue with you on this, gamal. Of course it is for Palestinians to decide what is acceptable.

      • Donald
        Donald
        August 30, 2018, 8:35 pm

        Fleshing that out a bit— I see my role as, well, writing blog posts. But the idea of the posts and I assume this blog ( ask Phil about that) is to change American views, so our country stops helping Israel maintain its apartheid system. What the goal should be is for Palestinians to decide. Not anyone else.

        But I assume that unless you think Palestinians can regain their land by force, it is going to involve talking with Israelis at some point. Yonah— well, I am guessing he would be the sort that could talk with Touma-Sliman and conceivably reach an understanding. I could be totally wrong.

        Truthfully, I don’t have any clear notion of what the endgame would be, but as gamal says, it isn’t my business.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 30, 2018, 10:24 pm

        Yell, scream, and throw chairs all you like. I’m used to it. I’ve worked in philosophy departments.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 31, 2018, 12:35 am

        Donald,

        Do you know how many “talks” there have been and the will be?
        From all you’ve seen, don’t you get an even vague idea of what Zionism is?

        Given the obvious nature of Zionism and Zionists, there is no way on earth to avoid violence much worse than what the invaders are inflicting on the Palestinian people. Except if the US experiences a total fall. Of course it’s good to continue proposing compromises and getting screwed. It keeps politicians on their toes and puts to sleep part of the people.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 31, 2018, 3:39 pm

        “But I assume that unless you think Palestinians can regain their land by force, it is going to involve talking with Israelis at some point.”

        Sure, but let Israel shrink to its natural size before you do that.
        Remember, you cannot promise Israelis anything if they stay. Can you? Willing to promise they will not have to live in close, if not intimate proximity to Palestinians? That they will retain legal superiority?
        There’s no point in talking to an Israel which won’t stick around.

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 30, 2018, 3:12 pm

      “The most egregious portion of the law in my eyes is the demotion of Arabic. This seems to set the tone of exclusivity, noncooperation and malice. “YFakaWJ

      You joke or you agree with the part of the law that states that “Self determination is reserved exclusively for Jewish Israelis .

      Puerile at best.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 30, 2018, 10:22 pm

      “The leftist/centrist Zionists that I know for the most part are wedded to the idea of Palestinian recognition of Jewish rights in Palestine, … an acknowledgment that the Jews are naturals to the neighborhood. Without this recognition by the Palestinians any treaty signed will be in effect a cease fire. Only an acknowledgment of Jewish group rights (of a nonexclusive nature) will signal a peace rather than a mere cease fire.”

      What is wrong with “all Israeli citizens have a right to live here”? Why this demand for recognition of “Jews being naturals to the neighbourhood”? This a just a ploy to get more foreign Jews into the country and maintain Jewish dominance over the Palestinians.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 30, 2018, 11:09 pm

        @RoHa

        There are a lot of potential fallouts from such an acknowledgement. It has the potential to justify a lot of past crimes and actions or at least form a significant part of the base for such arguments. The original declaration made no reference to a state of Israel but it did encourage and codify the settlement of Jews throughout the mandate. Currently all the settlements are illegal regardless of whether the inhabitants are Jewish or not. I see an opening where a good lawyer might form an argument that being The Jewish State it is acting on behalf of the Jewish collective and it’s settlement activities are therefore permitted. And that settlements wishing to be annexed by Israel are merely the Jewish collective exercising it’s right to self determination.

        Good lawyers can argue many things. It is not a minor acknowledgement to agree it is The Jewish state. Even the word “The” versus “A” has a great significance.

        It’s a huge concession and has nothing to do with risible argument that it shows that the Arabs accept Israel’s existence.

    • Nathan
      Nathan
      August 31, 2018, 7:34 am

      wondering jew – The nation-state law does not change the status of the Arabic language in Israel. Here is the English translation of the law that deals with LANGUAGE:

      A. The state’s language is Hebrew.

      B. The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.

      C. This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.

      Whatever the status of Arabic was before the enacting of this law, that same reality continues to exist. MK Touma-Sliman claims in her presentation that Arabic was an official language, and now it isn’t. She’s got it wrong. Actually, I’m rather certain that she has read the law very carefully – so, she should know that the status of Arabic remains unchanged. Therefore all her complaints that a person can’t testify in court in Arabic were at the level of propaganda. She knows that it’s not so.

      It was very interesting to hear from her again and again in her presentation that there should be a Palestinian state “along side the State of Israel”. I would have expected there to be an avalanche of comments here condemning her for support of the two-state solution. There is a silly exchange of comments (RoHa and Annie), proposing moving Israel to New Jersey or to Montana or to Alaska. I suppose that was their way of saying that they object to the idea of the two states without having to come out bluntly with a statement that there is a disagreement with the content of a Mondoweiss article. Anyway, it was quite interesting to see that MK Touma-Sliman is more moderate than outsiders who are not part of the conflict.

      • annie
        annie
        August 31, 2018, 7:48 am

        all her complaints that a person can’t testify in court in Arabic were at the level of propaganda

        are you claiming if a person testifies in arabic the court will provide them with a translator? was the speaker of the house just messing around when he wouldn’t accept a resignation in arabic? if the law doesn’t change the status of Arabic, why was it mentioned in the bill at all?

        and my banter with RoHa had nothing to do objecting to or supporting 2 states or “a disagreement with the content of a Mondoweiss article.”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 31, 2018, 8:14 am

        No, I was initially asking why it was anti-Semitic to advocate a Jewish State on a territory other than Palestine. I could not resist a bit of teasing, though.

        MK Touma-Sliman has undoubtedly given the matter a good deal of thought and study, so she is entitled to have a view on the one state/two state question. I feel no need to object to her having a view that differs from mine. There is, as yet, no law requiring all MW contributors to agree with me on everything.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 31, 2018, 8:15 am

        Nathan

        C is bullshit. Israel had 2 official languages. Now it has one. Yossi Israeli insists Israel is not in the Middle East.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        August 31, 2018, 8:21 am

        Annie – The law states in clear language that “[t]his clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect”.

        Yes, one can testify in court in Arabic. Actually, you can testify in court in any language.

        The Speaker of the Knesset accepted the letter in Arabic. He doesn’t know Arabic, but the letter was translated for him, and he ratified it. Actually, MK Touma-Sliman said so in her presentation. There’s room for criticizing the Speaker of the Knesset for making a fuss in the first place. But there is not any justification for drawing conclusions that the status of Arabic has been changed. Actually, nothing has changed – and that’s the only real reason that the new law deserves to be criticized (what is the point of legislating a law that doesn’t change anything).

        So, what was the point of suggesting moving Israel to Alaska?

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        August 31, 2018, 9:30 am

        Maghlawatan – Surely, you must be kidding. If you can declare that “C” is just nonsense, then you should just declare that also “A” and “B” (and the entire law) are nonsense – and all the problems are solved. You are declaring “C” to be nonsense because it ruins the argument that you wanted to accept. MK Touma-Sliman assumed quite correctly that her listeners aren’t going to take the trouble to read the document, so she can present this issue as she sees fit. It’s actually quite normal in a political debate to do so. However, it is always a good idea to take the trouble and read the documents under discussion. It enables you to be a bit critical. Admittedly, reading documents can be quite boring, but in the case of this new law, the document is very short.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 31, 2018, 9:15 pm

        I just don’t understand it.
        What happens to all the positive responses to “Nathan’s” comments?
        What happens to all the comments saying: “Nathan”, I see Israel and its actions in a whole new light, thanks to your explanations”?

        You don’t get a lot of support, “Nathan” .

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        August 31, 2018, 9:54 pm

        @lynn117

        Don’t mind wondering/yonah. He likes to pontificate. He’s as hardcore a zionist as you will ever find. But he does like to suggest there are lesser degrees of submission that zionists will accept. Tribalist to the core.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 1, 2018, 3:50 am

        “Don’t mind wondering/yonah. He likes to pontificate. ”

        And that’s my job!

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 1, 2018, 6:24 am

        Nathan: “MK Touma-Sliman claims in her presentation that Arabic was an official language, and now it isn’t. She’s got it wrong.”

        You got it wrong, Nathan.

        Before the Apartheid law, the status of official language in Israel was Hebrew and Arabic. It was based on the “Palestine Order in Council” (1922) which was adopted by Israel in 1948 (subject to an amandment which repealed the use of English).

        So no, Arabic is no longer an official language.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 1, 2018, 9:25 am

        But, Talkback, have you bothered to read the law that supposedly changed the status of Arabic? It says very clearly that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect”. So, if the Arabic language was an official language beforehand, then that status remains as such after the passing of the law. Nothing changes.

        Is there a problem if MK Touma-Sliman has got it wrong? It happens at times that a speaker makes a mistake, and the anti-Israel world doesn’t have to fall apart. The status of Arabic in Israel has not changed, and that’s it.

        Part of a political debate is giving criticism. This means also giving criticism to the side that you identify with. Strangely, in the anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian camp, criticism of the Palestinian argument is almost taboo. It’s as if such criticism is the same as justifying the point of view of your enemy. So, for example, in the many articles that deal with the “March of Return”, you don’t hear a word in Mondoweiss that maybe it’s not such a good plan of action. The same was true during the era of the suicide bombings and during the spree of stabbings. No anti-Israel activist will dare to say “it’s wrong, and I don’t like it”.

        So, MK Touma-Sliman has spread a little propaganda. It’s part of the reality of conflict. And, still, it’s just fine to come to the conclusion that it’s simply not true. The sun will still rise yet again tomorrow morning.

        I have a question for you. Perhaps you would be kind enough to give a polite answer. If someone like you feels that the State of Israel shouldn’t have come into existence, that it shouldn’t exist even today and that everything she does is illegitimate – why on earth would you care if Arabic is an official language? I just don’t get it. I pointed out an aspect of MK Touma-Sliman’s presentation as untrue, and already some three or four people (who absolutely deny Israel’s right to exist) have answered me that the status of Arabic has been changed, period. If you’re a critic of Israel (i.e. Israel is a legitimate state but you’d like to improve some aspects), then I could understand that you’re concerned about the Arabic language or whatever. But if you’re anti-Israel (i.e. the state shouldn’t exist no matter what, and therefore any policy is wrong), then what difference does it make to you if Arabic is an official language?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 1, 2018, 5:22 pm

        Nathan: “But, Talkback, have you bothered to read the law that supposedly changed the status of Arabic? It says very clearly that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect”.

        Exactly. . IThat is only it’s de facto not its de jure status. It is obvious that acording to Israel’s Apartheid law Hebrew and Arabic have NOT the same legal standing. One is Israel’s official language, the other has only a “special status”.

        Nathan: “Is there a problem if MK Touma-Sliman has got it wrong? It happens at times that a speaker makes a mistake, and the anti-Israel world doesn’t have to fall apart. ”

        According to the New York Times: “And it downgrades Arabic from an official language to one with a “special status.”

        Maybe you got it wrong. The anti-Palestinian world doesn’t have to fall apart.

        Nathan: “No anti-Israel activist will dare to say “it’s wrong, and I don’t like it”.

        Call me an “anti-Israel activist” because you don’t have the guts to call me pro-human or pro-equality. But I think that attacking civilians is wrong. Unfortunately and not surprisingly Israel never answered Hamas’ offer to stop attacking civilians. Cause there is no way to oppress a people for half a century and keep oppressing them without MOSTLY attacking civilians or collectively punishing them or denial them as people their right to self determination.

        Nathan: “If someone like you feels that the State of Israel shouldn’t have come into existence, that it shouldn’t exist even today and that everything she does is illegitimate – why on earth would you care if Arabic is an official language?”

        That’s like asking me: If you condemn Jewish Apartheid in Palestine why on earth do you condem one of its examples.

        Nathan: “But if you’re anti-Israel …”

        You seem to confuse me with someone who doesn’t care for universal values and only focuses on Israel. But I’m not a Zionist.

    • lyn117
      lyn117
      August 31, 2018, 6:43 pm

      @wonderingjew

      I commend you on agreeing to allow “hundreds of thousands”, which would amount to perhaps 10% of Palestinian refugees, to return. In my view, somewhat paltry and not a real reconciliation offer, but better than most Zionists.

      I suppose most “liberal” Zionists like to think of Jews as “natural” to the region. I don’t know they square such “naturalness” with forcibly expelling most of its indigenous population, but anyway, it’s a Zionist religious belief, not based on science, but more on biblical ideas regarding God promising the land to Abraham’s descendants and so forth. There were some Jews who could legitimately make the claim, but science says most of the heritage of most Jews worldwide is from peoples who converted long after the biblical era in places far from Palestine. They aren’t any more “natural” to the region than French Christians.

      For genuine reconciliation, liberal Jews need to stop attempting to force this religious view on Palestinians.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 31, 2018, 9:25 pm

        lynn,
        Since the current trajectory and zeitgeist is not reconciliation I disregard your counteroffer (If you can call, “you need to do such and such” an offer rather than a demand.) and my offer too has already been relegated to the category of “as if”.

        I don’t consider the genes that created me to be natural to the middle east or Israel, but I think a scholarly study of Judaism would indicate an affinity of Jews for Jerusalem that does not exist in most Christian groups.

        My attachment to Zionism is 80% historical, as in the trajectory of recent Jewish history resulted in migrations that resulted in a tumult which resulted in the idea of sovereignty and specifically sovereignty on The Land. In effect this movement led to the survival of a branch of my family (speaking of genes) whereas one branch survived in America and two branches really did not survive. my attachment to Zionism is 10% related to family members that have moved to Israel and so you’d have to ask them what their attachment is and then my attachment is one degree of separation away from their attachment. my attachment to Zionism is 10% related to my love for the city of Jerusalem which has a religious element, an aesthetic element and a nostalgic element.

        Jerusalem is available to me because of the Zionist conquest. Nonetheless on the ground there are Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Israelis and Palestinian Jerusalemites that are in fact communicating. This comments section is an example of anti communication compared to face to face communication. But as I said, I recognize that the moment does not belong to those interested in reconciliation.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 1, 2018, 5:43 am

        lynn117 – What does it mean to be “natural” to a region? Is there some kind of DNA test that entitles one to live in one’s country? I wonder if you yourself have taken a test to determine if you are “natural” to your country.

        You make a claim that the “Zionists like to think of Jews as ‘natural’ to the region”, but in reality it’s the anti-Zionists who are busy with the supposed foreignness of the Jews. The (Israeli) Jews are citizens of the State of Israel. In other words, they are local people living in their own country, and moreover they have the right to conduct an immigration policy as it suits them. The immigrants become local people as well (and they don’t have to pass any laboratory test). That’s the abc’s of political science. If you feel that, nevertheless, there is some other “scientific” requirement besides the ordinary workings of politics, then take into account that an obsessive anti-Israel outlook has damaged your vision of mankind. I would imagine that you ordinarily are opposed to racism, but when it comes to the (Israeli) Jews, your position that “science says…” is an indication of having dismally failed.

        Perhaps, you will find it interesting to learn about the roots of the term “antisemitism”. In the 19th century, there were Europeans who claimed that the Jews are not local people. They tried to prove their point through “science”; therefore, they claimed that the Jews are from a “semitic” descent. Since the Jews supposedly do not share a common descent with the Europeans, they are “foreigners” and they don’t deserve political rights. People making such an argument called themselves the antisemites.

        It’s ironic, of course, that in the 19th century the grievance was that the Jews are “semites” and therefore they are foreigners in Europe – whereas today the anti-Zionists are claiming that the Jews are Europeans, and therefore they are foreigners in the Middle East (and have no right to statehood there). Everyone is “shooting the arrow”, and then they “draw the target”. The common denominator of both the claims (“the Jews are foreigners in Europe” of the antisemites, and “the Jews are foreigners in Palestine” of the anti-Zionists) is the “use of science” in conducting a political debate in which the conclusion was already determined ahead of time.

      • zaid
        zaid
        September 1, 2018, 7:45 am

        “I don’t consider the genes that created me to be natural to the middle east or Israel”

        What you considered is wrong and it goes against what recent scholars of the subject (Genetics) determined.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 1, 2018, 8:27 am

        || wondering jew @ August 31, 2018, 9:25 pm ||

        So many words just to say: The theft, occupation and colonization of Palestine and the establishment in it of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” was a realization of your Zionist dreams and a benefit to you as a Zionist. Therefore, in spite of the evil that was and continues to be done to geographic Palestinians in the name of Zionism, you cannot but be glad that Zionists stole, occupied and colonized Palestine.

        You sure do have a way with wordiness.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 1, 2018, 12:46 pm

        “but when it comes to the (Israeli) Jews, your position that “science says…””

        My, that is a good point. What does science say about the consequences of humans marrying within a genetically limited group?

  2. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    August 30, 2018, 12:56 pm

    “I said at the beginning and I will emphasize again, this law is actually challenging two things. It’s not only challenging the Palestinians, it’s challenging the Jews, also in Israel. It’s challenging the narrative, the history, and it’s challenging the future of the people, both people.”

    This is key
    The law is also bad for Jews because it legalises evil from which they benefit. It isn’t even vaguely sustainable and it is not Jewish either.

  3. annie
    annie
    August 30, 2018, 1:59 pm

    this:

    There is no borders written in this law. It mentions what is the flag, it mentions what is the anthem, it mentioned who are the people, it mentioned who are the superior people inside Israel. But not the borders.

    “And what is more dangerous is the fact that the law starts with two words. It starts with the land of Israel… The biblical land of Israel is not only including the West Bank, but it might also reach to Jordan and beginning of Iraq. And when you are legislating a basic law that is the component of the future constitution of Israel, and you do not mention the borders, and at the same time, sometimes in the articles you are using ‘land of Israel’ and sometimes ‘state of Israel,’ in order to create this confusion, as if ‘land of Israel’ is the same [as] ‘state of Israel,’ what you are saying is you are talking about the whole historical Palestine, or what is called in the basic law, the whole historical land of Israel.

    freaky. we’re fighting one battle now, if we don’t resolve it our ancestors will inherit it because the settlers are preparing to absorb a lot more land in the region.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      August 30, 2018, 3:24 pm

      if we don’t resolve it our ancestors will inherit it because the settlers are preparing to absorb a lot more land in the region

      “I call this law the annexation law of the state of Israel to the state of settlers”, says Ms. Tooma.

      But that has been the official program from the start of Zionism, ie settling all Palestine, and it hasn’t been discounted at any time since. Every single person currently in Palestine, whose presence is the result of Zionism, is a settler. Not only the post-67 occupation criminals.

      In a way, the point reached now is the natural result of decades of being unduly tolerant toward the Zionist invaders, hoping they’d be like regular people one can talk to, making allowances for them, agreeing to keep invaders squatting in Palestine.

      Hindsight is not a remedy but it’s a good idea to finally understand the absolutely unyielding nature of the enemy. The past tells us that as long as the Zionists, or some Zionists, remain in Palestine and can rely on the US Empire, no compromise will be accepted by the occupier.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      August 30, 2018, 10:42 pm

      That distinction between “the land of Israel” and “the State of Israel” was the point I was referring to when I asked why it would be anti-Semitic to move Israel – meaning the State – to somewhere in the USA.*

      I still don’t see why it would be anti-Semitic.

      (*There is plenty of room for it there. You could easily fit it into one of the bits no-one really wants, like Utah, or New Jersey. )

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 31, 2018, 12:42 am

        “There is plenty of room for it there. You could easily fit it into one of the bits no-one really wants, like Utah, or New Jersey”

        I bet you anything they’d ask for the Tri-state and the seabank all the way to DC, haggle and threaten until they get it, and the next morning you’d wake up to news of the annexation of Pennsylvania, and so on.

      • annie
        annie
        August 31, 2018, 1:21 am

        new jersey would be a tight squeeze. it’s ranked 1st in the nation for population density (according to wiki). and utah is already taken by another religion. not sure jews would feel comfortable there knowing the competition habitually baptizes their (jewish) ancestors — or something, to get them into heaven. what about one of our less populated states like one of the dakotas, idaho, or montana. ;)

        what’s an extra 5-7 million for a state like montana? they only have 6.86 people per sq mile in montana. it’s gorgeous and lots of rich people from LA (hollywood!) have big ranches there. heck, the state might jump at the extra FOUR BILLION A YEAR.

        what about alaska? they could hobnob w/ sarah palin. chilly tho, and the sun doesn’t rise for 1/2 the year, or something. ;)
        and they could keep an eye on russia for us – right out of their windows from what i hear!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 31, 2018, 3:12 am

        “new jersey would be a tight squeeze. it’s ranked 1st in the nation for population density”

        Israelis know what to do about the resident population.

        “what about one of our less populated states like one of the dakotas, idaho, or montana.”

        A good chunk of that area is already taken for the Republic of Lakotah.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        August 31, 2018, 5:41 am

        RoHa: “I still don’t see why it would be anti-Semitic.”

        Well, when it comes to Israel the accusation of antisemitism is as irrational as antisemitism. It’s based on the same defamation principle.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 31, 2018, 8:18 am

        More than half of Israeli Jews have roots in the Middle East . Maybe the Ashkenazi Jews could get land in the US. It would definitely reduce the concentration risk associated with Israel’s crap leadership.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        August 31, 2018, 1:54 pm

        The time to propose a refuge in US territory was about 80 years ago in 1938. Mentioning it now is a taunt. The lack of seriousness shows a lack of respect.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        August 31, 2018, 2:36 pm

        Yonah

        Israel is harder to defend because it is on a plain. This is one of the reasons that the West Bank which is hilly and falls off into the below sea level Jordan valley is occupied. This has drawn Judaism into morality sapping apartheid.

        The Torah has loads of songs about the 2 times the temple was ransacked by invaders who broke through whatever defenses were there and trashed Shangri La.

        Israel is dripping with historical and religious meaning but a very bad site militarily.

        The US would make more long term sense especially as Egypt is not next door.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 31, 2018, 2:58 pm

        . “The lack of seriousness shows a lack of respect.”

        And all you’re asking for, is a little respect, when you get home.

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 31, 2018, 4:51 pm

        “The lack of seriousness shows a lack of respect.” YF aka WJ

        A zionist apologist for land theft and an Apartheid regime demanding respect.

        In all seriousness ,only in zioland.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 31, 2018, 5:10 pm

        😊😊😊🎶

        (Just wanted to see if emojis can be linked.)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 31, 2018, 8:39 pm

        Yonah, I’m not talking about a refuge. The idea is that, since US governments are so fond of Israel, they could give up a slice of US territory for the Israeli Government and population to take over and establish their state on.

        And I have no respect for Zionists.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 1, 2018, 7:13 am

        wj: ” The lack of seriousness shows a lack of respect.”

        Yes, what Zionists have been doing to Palestine and Palestinians demands respect, right?

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      September 2, 2018, 10:17 pm

      Some people put the eastern border of ancient Israel at the Euphrates river. That would take in about half of Iraq, including its capital, Baghdad. Some believe it is the Jews’ destiny to rule the world from Jerusalem. That would take in the USA, etc. Netanyahu already acts like the US is a province of Israel, so that may be the long-range plan.

  4. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    August 30, 2018, 9:07 pm

    Well, there are already camps, brutality, deprivation, kangaroo courts.
    Will they be forced to wear a black, white and green star?
    Is there a law that government contracts go to the lowest bidder?
    Will they be transported by train?
    So many details.
    Will they advertize for both banal and evil camp guards?

  5. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    August 31, 2018, 2:56 am

    So they want to abolish a law that states Israel is the Jewish nation. If there is no Jewish nation how can there be an Arab/muslim nation next door? This is the age old premise of the two state-one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs(of course the Arabs have requested-actually demanded that their state be completly jew-free while the Jewish state would naturally continue to extend full civil rights to all)
    The one state solution is another ploy to destroy jewish sovereignty in israel by eventual majority vote. It might seem to some like a chess match but of course, in the end it’s nothing of the sort.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 31, 2018, 3:48 pm

      ” If there is no Jewish nation how can there be an Arab/muslim nation next door?”

      It has long been the Jewish ambition to be everything the “Arab/muslim nations” are. Of course, these ambitions and ideals grow hazy in the diaspora, but Israel brings our deprivation into sharp focus.
      And they’re all having so much fun too!

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 31, 2018, 6:44 pm

        || Mooser: … It has long been the Jewish ambition to be everything the “Arab/muslim nations” are. … ||

        Zionists know that they have a winning formula in:
        – praising Israel as a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations”, a “Western-style democracy” and a “progressive paradise”;
        – justifying Israel’s past and on-going colonalism, (war) crimes and supremacism; and,
        – defending Israel by pointing out that it’s not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali, African “hellholes”, China, 19th-century America, etc.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 1, 2018, 7:06 am

      DaBakr: “If there is no Jewish nation how can there be an Arab/muslim nation next door?”

      Poor DaBakr. Always confused. Palestinians are a counstitutive people. Jews are not.

      DaBakr: “(of course the Arabs have requested-actually demanded that their state be completly jew-free)”

      You are such a liar, DaBakr, it’s disgusting.

      DaBakr: “The one state solution is another ploy to destroy jewish sovereignty in israel by eventual majority vote.”

      So what? Do you really want to make a moral argument while Zionist have been destroying Palestine through war and expulsion to prevent Palestinian souvereignity and majority ruling in Palestine?!

      Btw. Using the word “plot” proves that you hate Nonjews, right?

  6. genesto
    genesto
    August 31, 2018, 2:51 pm

    It seems that, with the Nation State Law, there are less hoops to go through to arrive at the same, illegal and immoral results – particularly with a hard right regime in power supported by a majority of Israeli citizens (Jews, of course). The bottom line is, regardless of what laws are or are not on the books, nothing is really going to change in Israel until there is a basic acceptance of non Jews by Jews as fellow citizens.

    That, my friends, seems a long way, and many more conflicts, off in the future.

  7. Xpat
    Xpat
    September 2, 2018, 10:24 pm

    @ Wondering Jew – How disrespectful of you to Phil and Annie’s time and labor for you to speak here without even bothering to read their work. Their efforts to transcribe MK Touma-Sliman’s speech convinced me to take the time to watch the whole clip. It was worth it. Her passion, clarity and convictions are clarifying. I picked up some new insights which I will use in my own presentations.
    As for your comments WJ, I have nothing to say because I didn’t read them past the first sentence.

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