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Microsoft revealed to be funding Israeli surveillance on Palestinians

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on 43 Comments

The act of Palestinian activists covering their faces during anti-Israeli occupation rallies is an old practice that spans decades. The masking of the face, often by keffiyehs – traditional Palestinian scarves that grew to symbolize Palestinian resistance – is far from being a fashion statement. Instead, it is a survival technique, without it, activists are likely to be arrested in subsequent nightly raids; at times, even assassinated.

In the past, Israel used basic technologies to identify Palestinians who take part in protests and mobilize the people in various popular activities. TV news footage or newspaper photos were thoroughly deciphered, often with the help of Israel’s collaborators in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the so-called culprits would be identified, summoned to meet Shin Bet intelligence officers or arrested from their homes.

A female Palestinian protester makes a victory sign.

Palestinian protesters during a demonstration on March 30, 2019.
(Photo: Annelies Keuleers)

That old technique was eventually replaced by more advanced technology, countless images transmitted directly through Israeli drones – the flagship of Israel’s “security industry”. Thousands of Palestinians were detained and hundreds were assassinated in recent years as a result of drones data, analyzed through Israel’s burgeoning facial recognition software.

If, in the past, Palestinian activists were keen on keeping their identity hidden, now they have much more compelling reasons to ensure the complete secrecy of their work. Considering the information sharing between the Israeli army and illegal Jewish settlers and their armed militias in the occupied West Bank, Palestinians face the double threat of being targeted by armed settlers as well as by Israeli soldiers.

True, when it comes to Israel, such a grim reality is hardly surprising. But what is truly disturbing is the direct involvement of international corporate giants, the likes of Microsoft, in facilitating the work of the Israeli military, whose sole aim is to crush any form of dissent among Palestinians.

Microsoft prides itself on being a leader in corporate social responsibility (CSR), emphasizing that “privacy (is) a fundamental human right.”

The Washington-State based software giant dedicates much attention, at least on paper, to the subject of human rights. “Microsoft is committed to respecting human rights,” Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement asserts. “We do this by harnessing the beneficial power of technology to help realize and sustain human rights everywhere.”

In practice, however, Microsoft’s words are hardly in line with its action, at least not when its human rights maxims are applied to occupied and besieged Palestinians.

Writing for the NBC news on October 27, Olivia Solon reported on Microsoft funding of the Israeli firm, AnyVision, which uses facial recognition “to secretly watch West Bank Palestinians.”

Through its venture capital arm M12, Microsoft has reportedly invested $78 million in the Israeli startup company that “uses facial recognition to surveil Palestinians throughout the West Bank, in spite of the tech giant’s public pledge to avoid using the technology if it encroaches on democratic freedoms.”

AnyVision had developed an “advanced tactical surveillance” software system, dubbed “Better Tomorrow” that, according to a joint NBC-Haaretz investigation, “lets customers identify individuals and objects in any live camera feed, such as a security camera or smartphone, and then track targets as they move between different feeds.”

As disquieting as “Better Tomorrow’s” mission sounds, it takes on a truly sinister objective in Palestine. “According to five sources familiar with the matter,” wrote Solon, “AnyVision’s technology powers a secret military surveillance project throughout the West Bank.”

“One source said the project is nicknamed ‘Google Ayosh,’ where ‘Ayosh’ means occupied Palestinian territories and ‘Google’ denotes the technology’s ability to search for people.”

Headquartered in Israel, AnyVision has several offices around the world, including the US, the UK and Singapore. Considering the nature of AnyVision’s work, and the intrinsic link between Israel’s technology sector and the country’s military, it should have been assumed that the company’s software is likely used to track down Palestinian dissidents.

In July, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz pointed out that “AnyVision is taking part in two special projects in assisting the Israeli army in the West Bank. One involves a system that it has installed at army checkpoints that thousands of Palestinians pass through each day on their way to work from the West Bank.”

Former AnyVision employees spoke to NBC about their experiences with the company, one even asserting that he/she “saw no evidence that ethical considerations drove any business decisions” at the firm.

The alarming reports invited strong protests by human rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Alas, Microsoft carried on with supporting AnyVision’s work unhindered.

This is not the first time that Microsoft is caught red-handed in its support of the Israeli military or criticized for other unethical practices.

Unlike Facebook, Google and others, who are constantly, albeit deservingly being chastised for violating privacy rules or allowing politics to influence their editorial agenda, Microsoft has been left largely outside the brewing controversies. But, like the rest, Microsoft should be held to account.

In its Human Rights Statement, Microsoft declared its respect for human rights based on international conventions, starting with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In occupying and oppressing Palestinians, Israel violates every article of that declaration, starting with Article 1, which states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and including Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

It will take Microsoft more than hyperlinking to a UN document to show true and sincere respect for human rights.

Indeed, for a company that enjoys great popularity throughout the Middle East and in Palestine itself, an inevitable first step towards respecting human rights is to immediately divest from AnyVision, coupled with an apology for all of those who have already paid the price for that ominous Israeli technology.

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB.

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43 Responses

  1. JohnSmith on November 7, 2019, 11:27 am

    I have long wanted to know the names and details of the technology companies that undergird Israel’s anti-Palestinian police state. We’re talking about Microsoft here, but there are all sorts of companies behind this.

    I believe that the same companies that control the movements of cows in the United States being led to slaughter are used to control the movements of Palestinians at checkpoints, etc. It really doesn’t make sense that it *wouldn’t* be the same companies because it’s the same sort of software or other technology for the same tracking of people/animals, tracking of movements, etc. (Besides software, the actual gates, turnstiles, etc.)

    It’s a malicious technological dystopia that the Nazis would have given their eye teeth for. Israel is a sophisticated elaboration of all the abusive mistreatment practiced by Germans against the Jews.

    Also, are the same companies that profited off of the Holocaust and the extermination of Jews in the death camps now profiting off of the abuse and attempted destruction of the Palestinians? –Automobile companies, “security” companies, shipping companies, etc.?

    And while this last point isn’t necessarily completely related to this, I want to know the fate of the extermination chemical from the Holocaust known as Zyklon B. They say that the exact same thing, or a closely related chemical, is now used as a herbicide in United State agriculture. Is it possible that that would be the infamous “Roundup” herbicide? I think if there is an actual connection between Zyklon B and a herbicide that that should be known.

    • JWalters on November 7, 2019, 7:20 pm

      Excellent points. In the “oligarchy hypothesis” all the big corporations, the big profit centers, are controlled by a few ultra-wealthy people through a few ultra-wealthy banks. The banks own controlling shares in these companies, choose board members, and pick CEOs. Just as the game of Monopoly illustrates, those with dominant financial control eventually gain total control.

      The oligarchy hypothesis explains how talking heads from many different media companies simultaneously launch the same set of scurrilous slurs against Tulsi Gabbard, a candidate who challanges the oligarchy’s for-profit wars. It explains how the same spectrum of media companies ignore Bernie Sanders’ extremely popular and successful campaign. It explains how these same companies also act in unison to promote Pablum Pete’s deceptive bankster-friendly campaign.

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that these apparentlty diverse companies and talking heads are all controlled from the same control central. The apparent variety on the surface masks a functioning monopoly behind the scenes.

      The oligarchy recognizes the power of high tech, so naturally they take financial control of those companies. Therefore we have Google and YouTube caught red-handed sabotaging search results for Tulsi Gabbard. And naturally they would want to control the most pervasive operating system on the planet, Microsoft’s Windows. The opportunities for surveillance of Windows users would be too tempting to pass up.

      The oligarchs are sociopathic predators. They see themselves as being at war with everyone else.

      • Tuyzentfloot on November 8, 2019, 5:01 am

        Oligarchs means they are Russian. In the US/UK they should be called businessmen.
        There are confusing cases. In the UK the Tories get a lot of money from wealthy Russians. So they are Russian oligarchs but then Russian oligarchs would control Russian policies which isn’t right. So you should call them British oligarchs which incidentally are from Russian origin. But by definition British can’t be oligarchs so they really are British businessmen. You just have to put some effort in it to make it consistent that’s all.

      • JWalters on November 8, 2019, 7:26 pm

        Tuyzentfloot, Jack London used the term “oligarchy” to mean an American oligarchy, in his 1908 novel The Iron Heel. The term is more general than one nationality. Thus, we hear the term “Russian oligarchs” to distinguish Russian oligarchs from others. Most businessmen are not oligarchs, so the term “businessman” is too broad.

        Some info on The Iron Heel is here.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Heel

        The Iron Heel is available as a free download here, along with other Jack London books.
        https://london.thefreelibrary.com/

  2. Jackdaw on November 10, 2019, 1:17 am

    Shin Bet announced that they had helped prevent 450 terror attacks against Israel last year.

    I bet Microsoft sponsored facial recognition software played a role in preventing some of these terrorist attacks.

    • eljay on November 10, 2019, 8:22 am

      || Jackdaw: Shin Bet announced that they had helped prevent 450 terror attacks against Israel last year.

      I bet Microsoft sponsored facial recognition software played a role in preventing some of these terrorist attacks. ||

      For decades (and counting), Partition-borders Palestine and the Free City of Jerusalem have been unable to prevent Israel’s military occupation and colonization of their territories and (war) crimes against their civilians.

      Partition-borders Palestine and the FCoJ would greatly benefit from a massive infusion of both high-tech weaponry and unquestioning economic, political and financial support.

      I bet this would play a role in preventing some of the evil Israel does deliberately and with impunity.

      • eljay on November 10, 2019, 6:12 pm

        || Jackdaw: … @eljay

        Clearly, you have no concern for the safety and well-being of innocent Jews living in Israel. … ||

        Clearly you are anti-Semitically implying that it’s OK not to have concern for the safety and well-being of guilty Jews living in Israel.

        Anyway, very much unlike you I have concern for the safety and well-being – and equality and rights – of all the people in and of geographic Palestine.

        || … I won’t even bother responding to eljays hackneyed comment. ||

        Of course you won’t. You’re a Zionist.

  3. Ossinev on November 10, 2019, 9:04 am

    @Jackdaw
    “Shin Bet announced that they had helped prevent 450 terror attacks against Israel last year”
    I may announce that I flew to the moon and back last year. Aren`t announcements wonderful.

    • Jackdaw on November 10, 2019, 1:30 pm

      @Ossified
      @eljay

      Clearly, you have no concern for the safety and well-being of innocent Jews living in Israel.

      I won’t even bother responding to eljays hackneyed comment.

      • Mooser on November 11, 2019, 12:51 pm

        “Clearly, you have no concern for the safety and well-being of innocent Jews living in Israel.” “Jackdaw”

        Why, do you know of any? There must be a few.

    • oldgeezer on November 10, 2019, 9:25 pm

      @Ossinev

      The number isn’t even realitically believable. Only an idiot would believe them. That includes jackdoh

      And even worse it’s a statement issued by an extremely disreputable government known for it’s fascist tendancies (and the use of fear is a common fascist tactic), corruption and lies in relation to Palestine and Palestinians.

      • oldgeezer on November 11, 2019, 12:40 am

        I really love how the number is 450. 482? Nope. 433? Nope 450! Spot on. Next thing the idf will be claiming they don’t know where their bullets land when they murder children.

        Spare me the lies jockdoh. Vile criminals the lot.

  4. echinococcus on November 10, 2019, 9:03 pm

    “…no concern for the safety and well-being of innocent Jews living in Israel”

    That is clearly and entirely the Zionist entity’s and the Zionist movement’s responsibility. Inviting people from all over the world to illegally invade a country to which they are not admissible places them, even if civilian, even if “innocent”, in the situation of unprotected persons being accessory to a war crime. So, all innocent invading interlopers anywhere in Palestine are knowingly being placed in harm’s way by the Zionists (innocence is a relative concept, too, as ignorance of the law is not generally accepted as an excuse, but we’ll pass.)

    Their plight is made much worse by the unending war of aggression started in 1947 by the newly declared Zionist entity. Palestinians have the inalienable right not only to defend themselves against occupation by all means available, they also have the right to retaliate against all acts of war.

    The Jack*$$’ grievances should be properly addressed to the only responsible party, ie the Zionist entity and the world Zionist leadership.

    • Jackdaw on November 11, 2019, 4:30 am

      The Marxist dead-enders have had their say.

      The sad round-Robin has now concluded.

  5. Nathan on November 11, 2019, 5:36 am

    Wow, echinococcus, you might want to get a hold of yourself and try to express opinions that are not entirely off the scale. You justify the killing of any Israeli Jew (man, woman or child), and so you justify criminal behavior. It’s not that you yourself are an evil-doer, but surely something has gone wrong with your sense of balance.

    It’s hard to explain to an extremist (even to one such as you who is not at all a part of the conflict in the first place) that there are two sides to every debate. So, because of your strange handicap, let’s assume that the conflict has been defined correctly in your comment, and every Israeli Jew (including a new-born child) is the “enemy” whose death or injury is a “justified” act of self-defence or retaliation. And let’s assume that even the Israelis themselves agree with your point of view, and they see themselves and their children as the “bad guys” in this story. Now comes the hard part, and you might want to sit down before reading the next idea: Even the “bad guys” have the right to live, and they have the right (and duty) to defend their lives.

    It should be noted that there are two sides to this conflict. You see the Israeli Jews as “invaders”, but they see themselves as citizens of their state. It’s really not too complicated to follow the logic of others, and after reading a number of times this very simple truth (that the Israeli Jews see themselves as citizens of their state), I have full confidence that you will understand that (1) they’re not going away, (2) they see Israel as their home and (3) they will protect themselves as individuals and as a collective.

    You seem to be in quite a fighting mood (well, others are supposed to fight, and you will just be commenting about it). However, there is a heavy price to pay when you go to war, and success is never promised. I would suggest the revolutionary idea of negotiating an end of conflict.

    • eljay on November 11, 2019, 8:20 am

      || Nathan: Wow, echinococcus … you might want to sit down before reading the next idea: Even the “bad guys” have the right to live, and they have the right (and duty) to defend their lives. … ||

      That idea surely applies also to Hamas and to all Palestinian “bad guys” who have:
      – the right to live freely, safely and as equals in their actual homeland of geographic Palestine; and
      – the right (and duty) to defend their lives against the on-going (war) crimes committed against them deliberately and with impunity by Zionists.

      Yes?

      If not, why not?

      • echinococcus on November 11, 2019, 12:19 pm

        Well, Eljay, it’s predictable but still discouraging to see you rise so easily to Zionist propaganda bait. Were it not purely for the sake of free speech (which this site doesn’t much care for anyway), most Zionist comments should be uncensored as a valuable study in criminal propaganda.

        Here what appears to be a paid soldier of the Propaganda ministry or Sebarah foundation, or whatever, equates the undoubted, officially-sanctioned non-protected status of invaders and colonial occupiers to “justify[ing] the killing of any Israeli Jew (man, woman or child), and so… justify[ing] criminal behavior”… with regard to participants in a war crime who are simply called to desist from participating to the crime (and remaining unjustifiedly in an official war zone) to avoid being in harm’s way.

        I particularly like this wannabe Goebbelsoid’s idea of two sides to “the conflict”. What “conflict” anyway? Invasion, theft and genocide it is, not “conflict”, and committed by one “side” only.

        Note the painstaking adherence to Bernays’ and Goebbels’ book: instead of trying to refute (impossible anyway) that the invaders, officially characterized as invaders even by the colonialists’ own Geneva conventions, are invaders and participants in a war crime, the propaganda critter switches to the touchy-feely appeal to respect subjective belief: it’s a “truth” “that the Israeli Jews see themselves as citizens of their state”! Well, if it’s a truth that I see myself as Catherine the Great, I am justified in ordering the subjects of all the Russias to obey me. No mention about objective legitimacy of said state…

        And that is all his argument. He then attacks resistance organizations, who have the full right to resist invasion and occupation by all means available (as reconfirmed repeatedly even by the Empire-dominated, colonialist UN.) Of course a totally non-negotiating and non-compromising aggressor, who started the war in the first place, will intentionally confuse recognition of inalienable rights with negotiation and compromise, duh! Your recognition of a right of the Zionist entity to continue squatting in its first installment of conquest (which you also recognize as illegitimate) does the same.

    • RoHa on November 11, 2019, 10:40 pm

      I love the way you present the Israeli Jews as simply protecting themselves. I’m surprised you didn’t add that they are terribly shy and misunderstood.
      But their “self-protection” seems to require persecuting, oppressing, and killing Palestinians. It involves driving Palestinians off their land, stealing their crops, destroying their homes and schools.

      So I find it hard to agree that they have a right and a duty to do that.

      “I would suggest the revolutionary idea of negotiating an end of conflict.”

      You keep suggesting that, as though the Palestinians had never tried to negotiate.

      Before Israel was declared, the Palestinians had offered a single state in which all people would be equal citizens. They held that position for years, but the Zionists rejected it.

      Then the Palestinians made a different offer. They would agree with the Zionists taking 78% of the land for a Jewish state, in return for the Zionists agreeing to an independent Palestinian state on the remaining 22%. The Zionists rejected that, too.

      The Zionists want all the land, without Palestinians. They are not interested in negotiating anything other than how to expel the Palestinians.

      And the Zionists cannot be trusted. They went through the process of the Oslo accords, pretending to negotiate in good faith, but ignored them thereafter.

      So what use would negotiations be?

      • Jon66 on November 12, 2019, 9:10 am

        Roha,
        “ Then the Palestinians made a different offer. They would agree with the Zionists taking 78% of the land for a Jewish state, in return for the Zionists agreeing to an independent Palestinian state on the remaining 22%. The Zionists rejected that, too.”
        From 1947-1967 the Palestinians had control of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Anytime during that period they could have had their own state had they wished. Israel had no power to accept or reject it. If that was the goal, why didn’t it happen?

      • echinococcus on November 12, 2019, 10:59 am

        “So what use would negotiations be?”

        Ah, that, now, is a serious question and deserves an answer, again and yet again.
        Negotiations are extremely useful.

        Negotiations are the lifeblood of the shitty little Crusader Kingdom on the Jordan: without negotiations, no European support, trade, arms or money, as the pretexts get exhausted and popular pressure will immediately get to the point where even European governments are forced to give in and comply with at least the UN resolutions and universal war crimes legislation. Even the US population may half-lift an eyelid and even the US Gov may have to toss a bone to it and stop the systematic US veto and the 4 billion a year.

        That’s precisely why the “Liberal” Zionists are in such a tizzy. Zionists need negotiations to complete their invasion and genocide, and the oafs of Likud & Co. are not doing enough negotiating, telling the naked truth instead. Fancy the liberals being seen as a cuddlier, gentler kind of Zionists by our liberals!

      • Bumblebye on November 12, 2019, 12:27 pm

        Jon666
        Absolute b/s!
        The Palestinians in “israel” were under martial law until 1966.
        The Palestinians of Gaza were under Egyptian trusteeship, those of the West Bank and Jerusalem under Jordanian trusteeship pending resolution of the issues – y’know, that brand new israel was already illegally occupying half the landed slated *for* a new Palestinian state!
        Every power fannied around, israel filled the stolen territory with its own people and then decided it wanted more. As per usual. Heck, they’re acting all upset now about Jordan banning them from a couple farms across that border!

      • RoHa on November 12, 2019, 10:11 pm

        An independent state on the remaining 22% was not goal until the 1970s. Before that they were still seeking the unified state in which all were equal citizens.

        It may have been a strategic mistake to change the goal from the unified state to the two-state position (I think it was) but the fact remains that it is the Zionists who have rejected the offers of the Palestinians.

      • Nathan on November 13, 2019, 5:43 am

        RoHa – I think that it’s more than obvious that you haven’t been paying close intention to the Palestinian position. Your statement that the Palestinians “would agree with the Zionists taking 78% of the land for a Jewish state…” is a clear indication that you didn’t catch onto the abc’s of Palestinian ideology. They do not agree to the existence of a Jewish state, period. I suppose you don’t understand Arabic, but quite often they speak out in decent English that they will NEVER accept a Jewish state.

        Moreover, the Palestinians do not have an end-of-conflict offer. They have negotiated with Israel in the framework of the Oslo Agreement, but under no circumstances do the Palestinians agree that a two-state agreement is the end of the conflict. The Palestinians have never defined the end of conflict. The “offer” to found a Palestinian state on 22% of the country is their proposal for finalizing the Oslo process, but the two-state arrangement is not the finality of conflict. The struggle will merely move into its next stage.

        The Palestinian claim that they have agreed to give 78% of the country in an incredibly generous offer is really just propaganda. It could be that they have won you over, but I suspect that you, too, understand that it’s just propaganda. If they had control of the country, then one could state that they are making an offer. However, we both know that if the Palestinians had control of the country, they wouldn’t be making any offers.

      • eljay on November 13, 2019, 8:18 am

        || Nathan: … [The Palestinians] do not agree to the existence of a Jewish state, period. … they will NEVER accept a Jewish state. … ||

        Good for the Palestinians. There’s no reason they – or anyone else – should ever agree to the existence of or accept a supremacist state of any kind (not even a Jewish one).

      • Jon66 on November 13, 2019, 9:09 am

        Roha,
        So the Palestinians rejected the partition plan as inadequate. Then when that was off the table, they rejected the WB etc as inadequate. Then when that was off the table, they decided that the prior WB etc was OK. Now when Barak/Olmert made an offer they rejected that. Do you think in 20 years they will come back and ask for The Barak/Olmert offer?

      • Jon66 on November 13, 2019, 9:10 am

        Bumble,
        The issue of a Palestinian State could have been resolved within the territories that they controlled. But they rejected that.

      • RoHa on November 13, 2019, 10:43 pm

        “Moreover, the Palestinians do not have an end-of-conflict offer.”

        The single unified state offer looks very much like an end-of-conflict offer. Palestinian acceptance of the Saudi peace plan also looks like an end-of-conflict offer.

        “but the two-state arrangement is not the finality of conflict. The struggle will merely move into its next stage. “

        What would the next stage be? Do you think that, with fiendish Oriental cunning, they would then find a way to subvert Israelis into agreeing to some sort of federation?

        “They have negotiated with Israel in the framework of the Oslo Agreement,”

        And had it confirmed that Israel cannot be trusted to keep an agreement.

      • RoHa on November 13, 2019, 10:44 pm

        Jon 66, maybe.

        But I suspect they are now inclining more to the single unified state idea.

      • mondonut on November 14, 2019, 12:03 am

        @RoHa The single unified state offer looks very much like an end-of-conflict offer.

        Correct. The generous offer to eliminate the state of Israel and replace it with an Arab state of Palestine is very much an end-of-conflict offer.

        I am sure it is just a coincidence that it creates exactly the same result as would an Israeli military defeat and Palestinian conquest.

      • Nathan on November 14, 2019, 2:19 am

        No, RoHa, the “single unified state” is not an end-of-conflict proposal. The ending of the existence of Israel (replacing her with some other political entity) is not an offer to end the conflict with Israel. An end-of-conflict plan will have to assume as self-evident that Israel is part of the end-of-conflict arrangement. I’ve heard proposals that call for “sending the Jews back to Poland”, and I suppose that an anti-Israel activist might define such an arrangement also as an end-of-conflict proposal. Nobody takes such anti-Israel “peace” proposals seriously. Among the non-anti-Israel community on planet earth, there is an ability to differentiate between “hostility towards Israel” and “peace proposals”.

        The supposed acceptance of the Saudi peace plan by the Palestinians is also not an end-of-conflict offer. The plan calls for negotiations to work out the solution for refugees. It does not define the solution. Since you oppose negotiations with Israel, you apparently don’t regard the Saudi peace plan as serious. In any case, the Palestinians indeed have no intentions to negotiate, so their peace offer based on the Saudi plan is just a propaganda ploy.

      • RoHa on November 14, 2019, 9:25 pm

        @Nathan

        Ah! Now I understand. Justice, equality, and peace so that Arabs and Jews can live their lives and cooperate in making the country a better place doesn’t count as an end of conflict.
        End-of-conflict means nothing changes for Israel except that the Palestinians stop resisting.
        So the one-state proposals won’t do for you.
        And the Saudi two-state proposal won’t because it might mean a few elderly Palestinians enter Israel.

        I’m sure that you will find something wrong with any proposal the Palestinians put forward unless that proposal means that they will quietly go away.

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 9:52 am

        “End-of-conflict means nothing changes for Israel except that the Palestinians stop resisting.”

        Were it only a matter of stopping resistance — that has been agreed by the PLO in Oslo and it is being implemented manu militari by the PA (which most continue calling “the Palestinians!)

        No, as you also observed in your last paragraph, the only Zionist offer is for Palestinians to disappear. Meaning their cities renamed, their villages razed and covered by forests and all mention of their memory distorted and censored. Exactly what happened and is being concluded in most of pre-67 Zionist entity (to the exception of a couple Potemkin villages in the Galilee as show-window for gullible Europeans.)

      • RoHa on November 16, 2019, 12:51 am

        Depends what counts as resistance. For Zionists, continuing to live on any part of the land, claiming any right to live there, or even calling oneself a Palestinian probably all count as resistance.

        Comes to the same thing in the end. The Zionists want all Palestine with no Palestinians.

    • oldgeezer on November 12, 2019, 12:05 am

      @nathan
      “Even the “bad guys” have the right to live, and they have the right (and duty) to defend their lives.”

      In what other circumstances do perpetrators of crimes have the right of self defense agains their victims.

      None.

      And neither does Israel have the right to claim self defense.

      You and your fellow travellers are merely doubling down on evil and criminality. I’m not surprised!

      Yes Israel will defend itself and it’s citizens. No it has no right to do so in regards to it’s victims trying to gain their basic human rights. It might in other circumstances but not this one.

      You don’t need to sit down. Your evil will be defeated.

      • Nathan on November 12, 2019, 10:01 am

        oldgeezer – One of the strangest aspects of reading the comments’ section of Mondoweiss is the discovery that there are intelligent people who can’t imagine that someone else has a different point of view. You believe that the Palestinian struggle is just, and therefore their enemy has no right to defend himself. It’s as if an Israeli Jew is expected to allow himself to be hurt because you believe he is in the wrong. Well, there are some flaws in your take of reality. People don’t agree to be killed or hurt, even if oldgeezer thinks they should be. Secondly, even though you haven’t heard the news, there are people who don’t believe that the Palestinian struggle is just. There are those who are quite concerned regarding the goals of the Palestinian struggle.

      • Mooser on November 12, 2019, 1:53 pm

        One of the strangest things about the Mondoweiss comment section is Zionists who think there are 100 million Jews, and Israel controls them.

      • oldgeezer on November 12, 2019, 5:35 pm

        @Nathan
        `You believe that the Palestinian struggle is just, and therefore their enemy has no right to defend himself. It’s as if an Israeli Jew is expected to allow himself to be hurt because you believe he is in the wrong. ”

        Which part of “Yes Israel will defend itself and it’s citizens.” did you not understand or are you intentionally lying as usual?

        Also “And neither does Israel have the right to claim self defense. ” I spoke about claiming self defense.

        When one is engaged in an illegal activity such as Israel and it’s violent extremist settlers it is not self defense. It’s using violence to impose and enforce illegal actions. You dimwit.

        It should be noted that the EHC has now joined the ICJ and UNSC in recognizing the settlements as illegal. So no I don’t really care about the criminals opinions of themselves.

      • echinococcus on November 12, 2019, 10:26 pm

        As always with propaganda agents, especially professionals, the principle of their action is to repeat the same nonsense day in day out, no matter if it has just been refuted — without ever addressing the argument.

        One of those in that snakepit that takes pains to follow the recommendations by the highest practitioners of the art and science of murderous propaganda seems to be that “Nathan”. Just ignores what was said minutes ago addressing his bullshit and charging ahead undeterred with the same arrant nonsense.

        “You believe that the Palestinian struggle is just, and therefore their enemy has no right to defend himself”

        Look at that “therefore”. I bet he’s feeling very sleek for that trick. No, it’s not cause and effect; the enemy has no right to defend himself because he has no right to be anywhere on Palestinian territory, which is all Palestine, period.

        “People don’t agree to be killed or hurt…”
        Wow. What a truth. One has to agree, serial killers being led to the chair generally find the very idea of it repugnant!

        “… there are people who don’t believe that the Palestinian struggle is just”
        Says the propaganda employee of the organization whose goals necessarily include the spoliation and disparition of said Palestinians.

        Let’s encourage Weiss to keep them writing here.

      • RoHa on November 13, 2019, 12:02 am

        “… there are intelligent people who can’t imagine that someone else has a different point of view.”

        You keep saying this sort of thing, even though you know it isn’t true.

        Very Zionist.

        But let us consider the important point. Mere disagreement counts for nothing. The opposing viewpoint must be supported by sound argument, otherwise it is worthless. If you want to change our minds, you must deliver those arguments.

      • MHughes976 on November 13, 2019, 9:10 am

        Nathan’s ‘therefore’ does seem odd, as echino notes. It could be taken as marking an inference whose validity Nathan accepts or one whose validity he contests. So
        I) 1. Consider the claim that Palestinian cause is just.
        2. From this claim it may be inferred correctly that Israel has no right to defend itself
        3, That Israel has no right to defend itself is absurd.
        4. So we see that the claim which leads to absurdity, that the P cause is just, is itself absurd.
        An attempted reductio ad absurdum of pro-P claims.
        Or ii)
        The inference from the justice of the P cause to the absence of an Israeli right of self-defence is vainly imagined but is completely invalid.
        Both arguments are quite questionable. There are obvious limitations on the right of self-defence in the face of a just cause by the beneficiaries of the injustice.

      • Mooser on November 13, 2019, 11:47 am

        “Nathan” always argues from the position that Israel and Zionism is the most powerful force in the world, with no possible limiters on its growth or power. It’s simple absurdity.

      • echinococcus on November 13, 2019, 11:20 pm

        Hughes,

        I’ll submit that the right to defend itself of an armed intruder against any action intending to dislodge it, after a hundred-plus years of calls to desist, has an obvious limitiation to the absolute zero.

      • MHughes976 on November 14, 2019, 11:02 am

        Hard to disagree, echino. However, It does seem to me, with reference that ‘therefore’, that there isn’t a generally valid inference from ‘their cause is just’ to ‘they need observe no restraint in what they do in pursuit of their cause’ or ‘their opponents have no right to resist whatever frightful thing they do’ – this is so, I think, whoever ‘they’ refers to. It is certainly true that to recognise a cause as just is to raise the question of the right to use some forms of violence and that question has to be answered according to what form of ‘just war’ morality you hold. It would be hard to find a convincing form which condemned the Gaza rockets but justified the horrific and lethal Israeli repression.

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