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More than Apartheid

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A week into the official unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Deal of the Century,” there is no lack of analysis of how this “vision for peace to prosperity” legitimizes Israel’s numerous crimes, while fulfilling the country’s aspirations for acceptance into the region.  And as we denounce this vision, it must be emphasized that it does not propose much that is novel, as much as it merely sets up an official, contractual framework for transgressions that are already “facts on the ground.”

The annexation of Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of Israel, the denial of the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return, Israel’s control of all Palestinian borders, including the Gaza Strip’s maritime borders, the annexation of West Bank settlements, Palestinian demilitarization, the setting up of regional alliances, and putting an end to BDS, are not a bold “vision” as much as a long-standing reality, which Trump wants Palestinians to officially agree to. (Or else what?  Gaza is already unlivable, BDS criminalized, protestors in the Great March of Return are shot on sight, while refugees in the global diaspora are denied return). In other words, the plan does not propose apartheid, it seeks to formalize it.

And while analysts remain busy explaining the Deal’s many offensive details, Israel is moving full steam into annexing more land, and seizing more Palestinian homes.

Here in the US, the “Deal of the Century” has reinvigorated the discourse naming Israel’s practices as apartheid—again, nothing new, the analogy is at the basis of the 2005 call for BDS.  And as we welcome these belated nods of acknowledgement, we must keep pushing the discourse towards a denunciation of the entire scope of the initial catastrophe that befell Palestinians last century, rather than its recent manifestations.

Al Nakba was more than apartheid.  Yet many who fancy themselves progressive do not question the settler-colonial mindset behind their support of the two-state solution, which would preserve their beloved Israel as a Jewish state.  I am thinking of groups such as J Street, “the political home of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” and IfNotNow, “building a movement of Jews to end Israel’s occupation,” who denounce only the 1967 occupation. And of course I have written about Bernie Sanders’ Zionism, even as I maintain that he is the best presidential candidate for Palestinians.

More than denouncing apartheid, it is time to acknowledge that Israel, in whatever form it has taken, or can take, would never have come into existence without European imperialism and settler-colonialism. If there was ever to be an Israel that is a Jewish state, in parts of what was once Palestine, that Israel could only happen through the initial expulsion, followed by the ongoing violation of the right of return of the Palestinian people to their homes, villages, towns and cities in pre-1967 Israel.

So this is a call for consistency:  just as apartheid is wrong, a crime against humanity, so settler-colonialism is racism, which entails the dispossession and disenfranchisement of an indigenous people, so as to create an enclave of supremacy–of whatever size. The Zionism of 1917, (Lord Balfour’s Declaration), of 1923 (Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall”) and of 1948, that is, the early Zionism which laid the foundations for the new state of Israel, was no less murderous and violently separatist than the Zionism of today’s Hebron occupiers.

Only weeks ago, “progressive Zionists” were appalled at the New York Timesalarmist announcement (which was later proven unwarranted) that Trump would be issuing an executive order asserting that Judaism is a nationality, not just a religion. Yet if Judaism is not a nationality, then Jewish self-determination should not necessitate the trappings of a nation-state, especially one founded on stolen land, whose rightful owners remain refugees to this day.

Fifteen years since the call for BDS was issued, using South Africa as a model, there is finally broad acceptance amongst progressives that Israel is an apartheid state, not the vibrant democracy they had long assumed it to be–albeit with some post-1967 blemishes and flaws.  That discursive change is important, as it is at the basis of the growing global solidarity with the Palestinian people. But we must not stop at that. We should not only push for a recognition of Israeli apartheid, we must demand the recognition that any Jewish Israeli state, whatever its boundaries within historic Palestine, is necessarily a settler-colonial state.  And no form of settler-colonialism is progressive.

The modern nation-state of Israel, the one founded through an imperial “declaration” early in the twentieth century, was envisioned as an enclave of ethno-nationalist supremacy, achieved through the expulsion of the indigenous inhabitants of the land. The “Deal of the Twenty-First Century” cannot be a continuation of settler-colonialism.  It must be the recognition that all settler-colonialism is wrong, and that today’s “facts on the ground” necessitate the acceptance of one state, from the river to the sea, with equal rights for all.

Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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43 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan on February 6, 2020, 1:22 pm

    Maybe we need to focus on the pathology of Zionism. This is what it is. Murderous and paranoid.

    There has to be more honesty about why Israel turned out like this. You can’t walk away from mass extermination and start over as if everything will be fine.

    Israel is always led by sociopaths. We have to talk about WW2 trauma.

    Wehave to intensify BDS. And change the framing. Israel is not the dominant power. Israel is out of control and heading for collapse.
    The Zionist interference in the recent UK election is a sign of how vulnerable Zionism is. Things fall apart.

  2. bcg on February 6, 2020, 2:12 pm

    “Fifteen years since the call for BDS was issued, using South Africa as a model, there is finally broad acceptance amongst progressives that Israel is an apartheid state… That discursive change is important.”

    Last weeks New York Times Book section has a review of Rashid Khalidi’s book “The Hundred Years War On Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017”, here it is:

    Even 10 years ago I don’t think the Times would have printed a review like this – the times are changing (pun intended). The review, by the way, is somewhat critical of Khalidi’s book but I think the critique is weak and doesn’t even attempt to refute the books main points.

    When will the Times finally do a review of Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath”?

    • smithgp on February 6, 2020, 9:37 pm

      Scott Anderson’s review isn’t “somewhat critical.” It’s deeply hostile to freedom, justice, and equality in Palestine. NOT an advance from 10 years ago.

  3. brent on February 6, 2020, 4:05 pm

    Elia, “The “Deal of the Twenty-First Century” cannot be a continuation of settler-colonialism. It must be the recognition that all settler-colonialism is wrong, and that today’s “facts on the ground” necessitate the acceptance of one state, from the river to the sea, with equal rights for all.”______________________________________________________

    Elia makes many valid observations. Haunting us is the absence of a coherent path to achieve one secular state from the river to the sea. Elia is making a case it is necessary first to establish one narrative being right the other wrong in order to get to positive relations through equality under the law. Is that most important at this point?

    Hopefully, Palestinians are considering national elections or are considering publishing their vision/plan as Trump has requested. Either could stir up political discussions and facilitate a consensus on co-existence. Whatever course is taken, it is imperative to consider a “one-gun policy” so individuals, no matter how defiant or angry, submit to the collective interest.

    A published thought-through response to Trump’s vision/plan will influence Americans, especially progressives and Members of Congress who hold the purse strings and will strengthen alliances with Jews. It will block unilateral decisions by Netanyahu and direct negotiations to Trump. It would lay the groundwork for getting to the PLO objective of one state with equal rights.

    • Talkback on February 7, 2020, 4:24 am

      Brent: “Whatever course is taken, it is imperative to consider a “one-gun policy” so individuals, no matter how defiant or angry, submit to the collective interest. ”

      Whatever course is taken? Does that include legitimate resistance against the occupying forces?

      • brent on February 7, 2020, 2:16 pm

        Talkback, consistently you appear to miss fundamentals and find a point to talkback on. A way to not listen.

        Yes, whatever form of resistance is decided collectively, not individually.

        When one is concerned about another’s situation, they hope to see decisions taken that promote well-being. They may offer advice on decisions that appear to be not working. Some benefit from outside perspectives, some do not. It’s been said those who don’t help themselves, won’t be helped.

        I don’t think force will work but do think politics can.

      • Mooser on February 7, 2020, 6:19 pm

        “Talkback, consistently you appear to miss fundamentals and find a point to talkback on. A way to not listen”

        “brent”, it has been obvious for some time that you are not arguing in good faith. Nor from reality.
        That ‘missing fundamentals’ is pure projection, coming from you.

      • Talkback on February 7, 2020, 8:05 pm

        brent: “Talkback, consistently you appear to miss fundamentals and find a point to talkback on. A way to not listen.”

        brent, consistently you appear to change your fundamentals. Not a week ago you argued against armed struggle. A way not to talk.

      • eljay on February 7, 2020, 8:43 pm

        || brent: … When one is concerned about another’s situation … They may offer advice on decisions that appear to be not working. … ||

        You’ve suggested that the Palestinians should “NEGOTIATE”. Given that Israel already controls almost everything in geographic Palestine including…
        – Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley;
        – most (if not all) on- and off-shore exploitable resources; and
        – the land and maritime borders and airspace of the proposed “state” of Palestine,
        …what, exactly, are the Palestinians supposed to NEGOTIATE with that will bring any sort of justice, accountability and equality to I-P?

      • eljay on February 8, 2020, 8:45 am

        || brent on February 8, 2020, 3:07 am ||

        Your reply contains seven paragraphs and many words but fails to answer the question: What, exactly, are the Palestinians supposed to NEGOTIATE with that will bring any sort of justice, accountability and equality to I-P?

  4. Misterioso on February 6, 2020, 7:55 pm

    Must read!!
    Part 1.

    “Don’t Call It a Peace Plan”
    “Ten ways Trump has launched a relentless assault on the very idea of Israeli-Palestinian peace” BY DANIEL LEVY JANUARY 30, 2020, The American Prospect.

    Daniel Levy is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project, based in New York and London, and is a former Israeli negotiator.

    “From the mid-1990s to the early noughties, much of my professional life was spent in a rather niche pursuit that came flooding back to me with yesterday’s release of President Trump’s ‘Peace Vision.’

    “The drafting of Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements became my thing—sometimes in uniform serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), sometimes as a concerned citizen in informal and often clandestine talks, and sometimes as an adviser in the offices of the Israeli prime minister and then justice minister during official negotiations.

    “I was a negotiator at the agenda-setting Oslo B agreements under Yitzhak Rabin; submitted texts from afar to Clinton’s Camp David Summit with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak; and then joined the follow-up talks between Israelis and Palestinians, in Taba in January 2001. I have participated in numerous track-two Israeli-Palestinian talks before becoming a lead drafter of the unauthorized Geneva Accord plan in December 2003. The picture of that signing ceremony of Israelis and Palestinians seeking a new way forward still hangs in my study.

    “Some of those texts saw the light of day and some were even signed with great pomp and ceremony in the presence of world leaders. None, of course, led to anything approaching peace.

    “In the intervening and often gloomy years of entrenched conflict and occupation, I often questioned the wisdom of what we had attempted. Those memories and uncertainties hit me like a punch to the gut when reading the lengthy White House plan issued Tuesday: “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.”

    “Had these talks after all been an exercise in softening the Palestinians, prematurely extracting concessions based on the ultimately dashed premise that an Israeli partner would emerge? In its outward appearance, the plan had such a familiar feel to it, like returning to a place of one’s childhood. But as I absorbed the words, nostalgia gave way to a feeling of having entered a topsy-turvy Alice in Wonderland. The language of peace had been cut and pasted, then put through a grinder, delivering an act of aggression dripping with the coarse syntax of racism. A hate plan, not a peace plan.

    “Here are ten ways in which the document released on Tuesday is a relentless assault on the very idea of Israeli-Palestinian peace:

    “1. Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Peace Plans
    “Terms of surrender and peace plans are not the same thing. But even terms of surrender have more chance of being durable if they are constructed in such a way as to maintain a semblance of dignity of the defeated party.

    “A peace plan has to be predicated on both sides saving face, on both sides being able to declare some kind of victory. The plan announced is a 180-page hate letter from the Americans (and by extension the Israelis) to the Palestinians. Until one reads the entire document (and unless one knows the history of the conflict), it is hard to convey the depth of contempt and scorn this text displays toward Palestinians. It oozes colonialist supremacism.

    “The text is drawn from the most unsophisticated and patronizing of Israeli PR talking points, an exclusivist narrative from start to finish. Only the Israeli side is deemed worthy by the American plan of empathy, of having its historical claims and justifications to the land and to nationhood embraced. According to the plan, the Palestinians exist to be slapped and pushed around. They are interlocutors only insofar as they can offer contrition and penance.

    “Per the text, Israel’s military actions are always defensive. Its relinquishing of any occupied territory is a generous concession, for this is ‘territory to which Israel has asserted valid legal and historical claims and which are part of the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.’ Israel is depicted as an exemplary steward of a united Jerusalem, and its population is crowded into a narrow coastal strip (someone should really tell the White House that Israel has the most powerful military in the region, including a nuclear weapons capacity).

    “The Palestinians by contrast are a gang of miscreants, inciting, ungrateful, and corrupt. It is hard not to read in this text a white supremacist mindset. Racism comes to the fore in the plan’s adoption of the idea of transferring the political rights of residents of the Triangle area in Central Israel, where communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel live. Under land swaps, the Triangle could be transferred to the Palestinian state, thereby undermining the citizenship status of the entire Palestinian-Israeli community. The plan endorses the ethnocracy-over-democracy logic of Israel’s recently passed Nation State Law.

    “2. A Palestinian State? This Is a Bantustan Arrangement.
    “The visuals of the map proposed are a dead giveaway: a patchwork of Palestinian islands best viewed alongside the map of South Africa’s apartheid-era Bantustans. A Palestinian state is supposedly on offer, but that notion is drained of all possible meaning. The document even goes on a philosophical detour to tell us, ‘Sovereignty is an amorphous concept that has evolved over time.’ Israel will control all security, territorial waters, airspace, and international crossings of this nonstate—and can even maintain a permanent naval blockade.

    “The lack of contiguity of this nonstate should be of no concern, after all, since the plan ‘maximizes ease of travel within the state of Palestine through state of the art infrastructure solutions comprised of bridges, roads and tunnels.’ Palestinians will even have access roads so they can traverse the Jordan Valley, ‘subject to Israeli security requirements.’ The enclaves of Palestinians in Israeli territories will unfortunately also only have access to the rest of ‘Palestine’ subject to ‘Israeli security responsibility,’ and in certain areas Israel can also decide zoning rules and building permits for Palestinians. Palestinians are all too familiar with what this matrix of control amounts to in practice.

    “The Palestinian nonstate will not have Jerusalem as its capital, for that is to remain the ‘undivided, sovereign capital of the State of Israel.’ The Palestinians can have outer Jerusalem neighborhoods on the other side of where Israel has erected its security barrier, but don’t despair, the Palestinians can call this noncapital by whatever name they like.

    “Oh, and finally, the glorious nonstate of Palestine only comes into being if a series of preconditions are met, which ‘must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel.’
    “3. Asks of Israel? There Are None.

    “Despite some tactical attempts in Israel, from both the left and right, to depict the U.S. document as demanding unwanted Israeli concessions, this is a slam dunk for Israeli maximalism. Israel is only asked to not do or give up things it has already declared no interest in. And if Israel should change its mind or should that not be enough, then there is a fallback; Israel can stop any implementation with the unilateral veto it is accorded in the plan.

    “The Jerusalem border will be set according to the barrier Israel already unilaterally built. There is no end to settlement growth. Israel has defined all the land it wants; it can both continue building there without disturbance and extend Israeli sovereignty in all such areas, with American endorsement.

    “The clause supposedly placing a moratorium on the demolition of Palestinian homes and structures has the following helpful override clause: ‘This moratorium does not apply to the demolition of any structure that poses a safety risk, as determined by the State of Israel, or punitive demolitions following acts of terrorism.’

    “Israel even gets to unilaterally override U.N. Security Council resolutions. The American conceptual map is designed ‘in the spirit of UNSCR 242’—the definitive blueprint to a two-state solution that was unanimously passed after the 1967 war—’and in a manner that meets the security requirements of the State of Israel and … takes into account the State of Israel’s valid legal historical claims.’

    “4. Humiliation, Part One: Refugees and Prisoners
    “Anyone familiar with the Palestinian experience will know the historic centrality for Palestinians of the refugee experience and the enormous shadow cast in contemporary Palestinian life by the phenomenon of so many Palestinians having served time in Israeli prisons. The latter is the consequence of a demeaning occupation that inevitably generates resistance, both violent and peaceful, and which has over the years criminalized any act of Palestinian political struggle.

    “The plan is uniquely invidious in its treatment of Palestinian refugees; they are not even accorded the kind of rhetorical empathy that is heaped on Israel by the bucket load. Israel’s tough line on refugee return is a matter of historical record, but in peace talks there have been at least attempts to soften the blow. Here, not so.

    “The text asserts that ‘there shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel.’ Not only that, but Israel can decide how many and which Palestinian refugees could take up residence in the new nonstate of Palestine. ‘The rights of Palestinian refugees to immigrate into the State of Palestine shall be limited in accordance with agreed security arrangements … and regulated by various factors including increased security risks to the State of Israel.’

    • Misterioso on February 6, 2020, 7:58 pm

      Part 2:

      “The final insult is reserved for the compensation file. Compensation implies suffering. It implies humanity. To remove any such impression, we are told that funds would be far better off ‘if used to implement the Trump economic plan.’ All that is missing is for that to include a shiny new Trump hotel!

      “When it comes to prisoners, standard practice when moving from war to peace is for those imprisoned in the context of liberation struggles to be released, sometimes subject to processes of truth and reconciliation. Not in this hate plan. Prisoners involved in murder, attempted murder, or conspiracy to murder are excluded, making the entire prisoner clause an exercise in humiliation rather than reconciliation.

      “5. Security and Control
      “This is an easy one, as only Israelis are worthy of security, so only Israel needs to have security capacities and control. The most far-reaching articulation of Israel’s security needs is embraced and then allowed to run wild throughout the document, with sideswipes taken at Palestinians wherever possible. At least there is no attempt to obfuscate here: ‘The security portion of this vision was developed based on our best understanding of the security requirements of the State of Israel,’ which is also defined so that ‘all of Iran’s activity must be taken into account in determining the State of Israel’s security needs.’ In short, the Israeli military can continue to operate everywhere with impunity, and the Palestinian nonstate will not only be demilitarized but will also serve as a subcontractor for the Israeli military in perpetuity.

      “With Israel in control of the land, sea, air, and border crossings, more should not be necessary. But in case Big Brother might miss anything, the text stipulates that ‘solely as determined by the State of Israel, the State of Israel will rely on blimps, drones and similar aerial equipment for security purposes.’ Military occupation, everywhere, forever.

      “The document goes on to tell us that the Palestinians should be grateful because ‘the State of Palestine will not be burdened with such costs (defense), because it will be shouldered by the State of Israel.’ American generosity apparently knows no bounds, because the security plan outlined ‘results in billions of dollars in savings for international donors in lieu of creating a new multinational security force.’ Thank you, America.

      “6. Gaza: You Guessed It, All the Palestinians’ Fault
      “It is one of the most overcrowded spaces in the world, and most of its inhabitants were expelled from their original homes during the Nakba. Several years ago, a report by the United Nations suggested that by this year, 2020, Gaza might become uninhabitable in key areas of human security.

      “When Israel did withdraw from Gaza in 2005, it imposed a permanent closure and stated that the withdrawal would be conducted under punitive conditions. Since then, in various rounds of clashes with Israel, at least 5,514 Palestinians, of which 2,667 were civilians, have been killed, according to the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem. Over the past two years, marches of return have been rebuffed by Israel with fatalities numbering over 250 among Palestinian civilians, including many children, and over 30,000 injured. Surely even the Trump administration can find some empathy for Gaza? Nope.

      “Everything is the fault of the Palestinians. Gazans and the leadership in Gaza carry, we are told, the sole and exclusive responsibility for their circumstances. Israel is pristine, faultless. No conflict situation in the world works that way, and no attempt to resolve a conflict can make such an assertion. The U.S. text also asserts that ‘significant improvements for the people of Gaza will not occur until the full demilitarization of Gaza.’ That will not and even should not happen; more misery for Gazans is on offer.

      “7. Palestinian Homo economicus
      “Significantly, more than half of the document issued on Tuesday, 124 out of 181 pages, is devoted to what is called an ‘Economic Framework,’ full of McKinsey-style presentations on ‘unleashing economical potential’ and ‘enhancing Palestinian governance.’ This is basically the re-release of the easily forgettable Manama ‘Peace to Prosperity’ document.

      “There are two minor problems with this glorious future heralded for the Palestinians. First of all, it ain’t going to happen—these points are part of a plan that will not be implemented. We have been here before, more than once. A Palestinian economy that remains under occupation cannot flourish, and the plan fails to recognize this simple truism. The plan guarantees permanent occupation. Ipso facto the economic plan is dead on arrival.

      “The second problem is that this indulges in pure fantasy by treating the Palestinians not as a nation with collective national aspirations but as Homo economicus, a collection of individuals who make perfectly rational economic choices and whose horizons do not extend beyond economic opportunities for a better material life.

      “Attempts to buy off and define a glorious neoliberal future for the Palestinians are as unoriginal as efforts to generate economic growth under occupation. Neither has a great track record, to put it mildly.

      “8. Humiliation Revisited: It’s Everywhere”
      This hateful text never misses an opportunity to degrade the Palestinians. It is hard not to reach the conclusion that this is intentional. For example, the only mention of respect for human rights in the document is as one of the preconditions that the Palestinians must meet before being granted their nonstate!

      “In several places, the plan suggests its generosity to the Palestinians by allowing them special arrangements and special access to areas that are anyway part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. For instance, while the Jordan Valley will be under Israeli sovereignty, ‘notwithstanding such sovereignty, Israel should work with the Palestinian government to negotiate an agreement in which existing agricultural enterprises owned or controlled by Palestinians shall continue, without interruption or discrimination pursuant to appropriate licences or leases granted by the State of Israel.’ How dismal.

      “Similar arrangements are proposed in the Dead Sea area of Palestine, which again will be Israel, but the Palestinians will be allowed to ‘develop a resort area in the north of the Dead Sea without prejudice to the State of Israel’s sovereignty at such location.’ Likewise, a special tourist area is designated in the north Jerusalem neighbourhood of Atarot, again not part of Israel, not your business.

      “Palestinians are banned from pursuing recourse in international organizations or the International Criminal Court. And only Palestinians must end incitement toward their neighbors; no such stipulation is made of the Israelis. And the list of humiliations goes on.

      “9. Israel as Judge and Jury
      “Serious attempts to resolve long-standing conflicts require an implementation mechanism that is resilient in the face of mutual distrust. That would normally then put in place a combination of disincentives to backsliding as well as third-party guarantors.

      “In keeping with the motif running through the Trump document, any such notion is eschewed. Israel gets to decide everything, sometimes with the Americans. When it comes to moving toward the formation of the Palestinian nonstate on offer, the preconditions ‘must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel and the United States jointly, acting in good faith, after consultation with the Palestinian Authority.’ Israel has a veto. If there ever were anything unpalatable to Israel in this plan, it would never be implemented.

      “10. Jordan and the End Goal of This Plan
      “One has to assume that the plan’s authors have one of two scenarios in mind, and those unsurprisingly offer a win-win for Israel. In one scenario, the plan is implemented in accordance with Israel’s interpretation, and it succeeds in formalizing Greater Israel alongside Palestinian Bantustans. That is presumably what Trump anticipates—that the ongoing squeeze on Palestinians might push them to sign off on such a deal. While that is not inconceivable, such a leadership would have a serious legitimacy problem and struggle to stay in power.

      “The more likely scenario (one imagines intended by at least some of the plan’s architects) is that the Palestinians are blamed for rejecting the plan, and Israel together with the U.S. moves ahead anyway in implementing its sovereignty and permanent control, perhaps beyond even what is envisaged in this document.

      “One option that has long been a hobbyhorse of the Israeli right would be to involve Jordan in realizing Palestinian political representation. That is more than hinted at in the document where there is a reference to Jordan ‘by virtue of territorial proximity, cultural affinity and family ties’ playing a ‘distinctive role in assisting the Palestinians on a range of issues’ that interestingly enough include ‘institution building and municipal services.’ That, in addition to a separate mention of a Jordanian role in the security realm, should be a wake-up call to the Hashemite Kingdom as being one way in which Israel might want to force the issue of Jordan running cover for the apartheid plan on offer.

      “The one saving grace in this otherwise appalling spectacle was that the plan’s introduction was happening on a day when the U.S. president was scrambling to keep his impeachment pushback strategy on track. Simultaneously, the Israeli attorney general was filing an indictment against Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Jerusalem district court on three corruption cases, for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. Taken together, it suggests that the plan might go down with its co-presenters.

      “Nineteen years ago this month, at Taba, I sat at the negotiating table, sensing that we might be genuinely close to an agreement. I had the privilege of working alongside a team of patriotic Israelis, many of whom genuinely sought understandings with the Palestinians, partly out of a sense of shared humanity but also very much because that would serve the Israeli interest. A mutually dignified way forward is still possible and will still best serve Israelis.

      “But none of those interests are served by the hate plan issued on January 28 at the White House. Following its publication, Palestinians and Israelis may have to look for a very different approach if our shared humanity, mutual dignity, and the need for equality are to be addressed.”

  5. Talkback on February 7, 2020, 5:59 am

    Nada Elia: “In other words, the plan does not propose apartheid, it seeks to formalize it.”

    While offering it as a solution for peace and co-existence. Orwell meets Hendrik-Frensch-Verwoerd.

    • Misterioso on February 7, 2020, 8:50 am


      Thanks for posting the link. Stupidly, I forgot to include it.

  6. catalan on February 7, 2020, 8:58 am

    If you don’t like the deal, don’t accept it. Maybe something better will come along, maybe not. Everyone makes their choices. Nobody is forcing anyone to sign anything. So many words for an offer which they can choose to simply not accept.

    • Talkback on February 7, 2020, 12:10 pm

      catalan: “So many words for an offer which they can choose to simply not accept.”

      We all knows what Israel does when Palestinians reject an “offer”. They just enforce it through war and expulsion.

    • bcg on February 7, 2020, 1:02 pm

      @Catalan: Nobody claimed that anyone is forcing anyone to sign anything, we all know that the Palestinians don’t have to accept the deal. (duh)

      But can we learn anything from – you know – discussing the proposed deal? Does it tell us something about the situation, or Israeli intentions?

      • oldgeezer on February 8, 2020, 1:31 am


        Another zionist lie.

        As the Palestinian papers show they have have been more than willing to settle for less than they are entitled to by international law. Even that was not enough for the outlaw rogue state of Israel.

        Perhaps I shouldn’t label it a lie. Perhaps it’s willful ignorance on the part of the arch racist zionists that promulgate such fiction. Or the fictional historical teachings of fake history teachers like jon s.

      • catalan on February 8, 2020, 9:21 am

        “As the Palestinian papers show” oldgeezer
        That’s because the Palestinians view their struggle for an Islamic state in stages. The first stage is a state on the West Bank. Then they push for the return of 7 million refugees in Israel while simultaneously arguing for the “partition borders”. In the last stage Israel gets attacked and destroyed and is replaced by an Islamic state. That’s not some type of secret either. It’s expressed both by the Palestinian organizations and commenters here daily. What is amazing is that you think Israelis don’t realize that. You have to read between the lines and not fall the good cop bad cop routine. Why not just trust what Hamas and Islamic Jihad say every day?

      • oldgeezer on February 8, 2020, 11:26 am


        Projection as usual, totally ignoring the reality of who is doing what to whom.

      • Talkback on February 8, 2020, 1:12 pm

        It’s funny how Catalan is literally projecting Zionist behaviour since 1948 unto Palestinians.

    • catalan on February 7, 2020, 6:49 pm

      “Does it tell us something about the situation, or Israeli intentions?”
      Of course it tells us how Israel envisions a peace agreement. But we already knew that. We also know how the Palestinians envision the future – an Islamic state “from the river to the sea”. The two visions are impossible to reconcile. But it seems that on Mondo there is a great degree of optimism that the Palestinians will soon get their Islamic state. It might just happen; my astrological skills are terrible.

      • Talkback on February 7, 2020, 8:41 pm

        catalan: “We also know how the Palestinians envision the future – an Islamic state “from the river to the sea”.”

        I always find it higly amusing when Zionists accuse Palestinians of having visions of the future that they themselves are actually implementing since 1948. Narcissists generally lack self-awareness.

      • eljay on February 8, 2020, 3:14 pm

        || catalan: … Of course it tells us how Israel envisions a peace agreement. But we already knew that. We also know how the Palestinians envision the future – an Islamic state “from the river to the sea”. … ||

        Zionists and the “Jewish State” of Israel have made it abundantly clear that to them “peace” means that Israel:
        – remains a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
        – keeps as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
        – is absolved of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
        – is absolved of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

        While we do know what some Palestinians envision, we have no idea what “the Palestinians” envision.

        (It’s funny how Zionists get offended (and rightly so) when people* lump all Jews into a single, undifferentiated mass but they have no trouble doing the very same sort of hateful thing with non-Jews.)
        (*Other than themselves, that is. The fact that they routinely lump all Jews into a single, undifferentiated mass (“the Jews”) – and especially when they do so to justify and defend Zionist (war) crimes – doesn’t seem to bother them one bit.)

  7. Emet on February 7, 2020, 1:28 pm

    Once upon a time there was country that later on was given the name South Africa. All was well and the Black people living on this land all prospered. Life was good. Then one day a boat load of funny looking people arrived on their boats. They had light colored skin. They were different. And the people were not happy. “No, no, no” said the village elders, these people want to take our land and our food. As time passed these funny looking people grew in numbers. And they came with their guns and after a while took more and more land. And the people were not happy. These funny looking people did not let the villagers roam the land as they did before.
    There was another land, far, far away. On this land many different people lived. They called themselves Israelite’s. They all belonged to the house of Israel. They had many shared experiences and had once been slaves in a nearby land from which they left. On their journey home they were given a long list of instructions on how to live their lives. And they built a special building to pay homage to their Lord. All was fine and the people prospered. They spoke this language called Hebrew and they called themselves Jews living in land called Judea. One day funny looking people arrived to conquer the land and destroy. The people were not happy. So they rebuilt their land and their special building and once again all was good. Then one day another group of people came and again decided to conquer and murder the people. And all was not okay. Having little choice, many people left this land and searched for a more peaceful life. Some did, others did not. Many years later these people returned but others in the land said “No, no, no, you cannot live here. Even though you once did. “We do not want to share with you, go somewhere else, you do not belong here”, they said.
    “But we do” said the Jews, and we will stay on our land” said the Jews.

    There is no similarity between South African apartheid and what has happened in Israel. Anyone still trying to make this association knows that the Palestinian claim is weak and that the land belongs to others who came before them. Jews have always been willing to share, the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians have not.

    • bcg on February 7, 2020, 1:53 pm

      @Emet: You ever talked to one of folks in Breaking The Silence, in person?

    • Ernie on February 7, 2020, 3:21 pm

      Your myth seems to have inadvertently omitted the bit about how the Hebrews came along and turfed out the indigenous Canaanites in the first place, and the bit about how the indigenous Palestinian Arabs welcomed Jews until they made their ambition for sovereignty plain. Maybe you need a more appropriate moniker?

    • oldgeezer on February 7, 2020, 3:24 pm


      Yawn. More fictional narratives. So predictable

    • eljay on February 7, 2020, 3:46 pm

      || Emet: … There is no similarity between South African apartheid and what has happened in Israel. … ||

      Of course there are similarities with what happened in South African and what continues to happen in geographic Palestine:
      – A distant geographic region with an existing, indigenous population.
      – Foreigners indoctrinated with an ideology and motivated by the insane belief that the geographic region is theirs for the taking.
      – Aggressive, deliberate and unapologetic migration, ethnic cleansing, occupation, colonialism, oppression and sundry (war) crimes (a.k.a. “necessary evil”).
      – And, of course, lots and lots of aggressor-victimhood because – as everyone knows – it’s a tough gig.   :-(

    • Mooser on February 7, 2020, 5:24 pm

      What a wonderful service Mondoweiss provides! A place where Zionists can speak freely, uncensored, and express their innermost thoughts and present advanced analysis, so non-Zionists can understand Zionism.

      And “Emet” buddy, your point is clear. Zionism is best explained as a fairy tale, to an audience of anxious-to-please children.

      There’s another point in the comparison between SA and the Zionist project. South Africa has gold, diamonds, and a shitload of natural resources.

      • echinococcus on February 7, 2020, 6:42 pm

        “A place where Zionists can speak freely, uncensored, and express their innermost thoughts and present advanced analysis, so non-Zionists can understand Zionism.”

        A place where the Zionists can continually show their nature and keep us up to date on who they are. A wonderful illustration of the law that says that human depravity is the only infinite thing.

        Also illustrated by the fact that ourr resident Judaica scholar Fredman immediately protested to the name Kaplitski as goyish — ignoring all the Hymans, Davids, Murrays etc. and — impardonable but true, the great Jochanan Kaplitsky, author of the reference work on Arabic grammar.

        Better yet: he doesn’t get censored, but I do when I write that “Jan” doesn’t strike one as a Jewish name…

      • RoHa on February 8, 2020, 9:13 am

        ““Jan” doesn’t strike one as a Jewish name…”

        Try “Brian”, then. I just grabbed two names and shoved them together for my imaginary Polish Jew.

      • Mooser on February 8, 2020, 5:20 pm

        “but I do when I write that “Jan” doesn’t strike one as a Jewish name…”

        Gosh darn it, “Echin” you’ve been around long enough to know by now: Leave the Brady bunch out of it.

        Are you trying to goad the Mods?

      • echinococcus on February 8, 2020, 6:46 pm

        The Mods are useful when they leave the Zionist beasties alone, letting us exhibit the inner life of said Zios to the admiration of the public. Yessir! These Mods (not the thuggish brats) have my full admiration every time they ignore Phil Weiss’ strict guidelines and let through every abomination the Israel crowd vomits here.

        Bu then they deserve at least some goading when they turn on other than Zionists the full force of their subjective so-called judgment, against even the short express rules of their job.

      • Mooser on February 8, 2020, 10:28 pm

        Look “echin”, the rules are simple, leave the Brady’s alone, but it’s always open season on the Partridges.

    • Talkback on February 7, 2020, 8:17 pm

      Emet: “There is no similarity between South African apartheid and what has happened in Israel. ”

      You obviously have never read about the Crime of Apartheid as defined in internatioal law. Or you don’t understand it.

      Emet: “Anyone still trying to make this association knows that the Palestinian claim is weak and that the land belongs to others who came before them.”

      They were definetely there, before you and other Zionists infilltrated Palestine.

      Emet: “Jews have always been willing to share, the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians have not.”

      Yep, expelling Nonjews and illegaly annexing their territory is the new Jewish “sharing” according to Emet. Before Zionism JEws and Arabs used to babysit each other’s children. But Zionist Jews just don’t want to share at all and have never been willing to share anything. Neither Palestine nor Jerusalem.

      • MHughes976 on February 8, 2020, 3:12 am

        The similarity that most strikes me is that the political rights of different groups – all clearly permanent residents and all subject to the same sovereign power – are very different and that these groups are very much defined by ancestry.

      • Mooser on February 8, 2020, 5:25 pm

        “these groups are very much defined by ancestry.”

        No, in Israel “Jewish” is an administrative designation, of superior status, which may be, and is, extended to anybody the Zionist regime feel is useful. “Ancestry” in any real sense, or religion, has nothing to do with it.

    • eljay on February 7, 2020, 10:27 pm

      || Emet: … Jews have always been willing to share, the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians have not. ||

      My diary very clearly says that what is yours is actually mine, so I look forward to “returning” to it. But I’m totally willing to share. I’m glad that you are, too.   :-)

      • brent on February 8, 2020, 3:07 am

        @ eljay. You previously raised the concern Palestinians held so few cards, negotiating didn’t make sense. A book could be written on this topic.

        Importantly, Trump requested a counter offer. He invited negotiations. Invited them to be public which goes a long way to negate Israel’s power advantage. What would explain ridicule (“nonsense”) instead?

        One of the main reasons against the use of force, spilling blood, is it takes away the advantage of negotiating from the high ground. Reinforces the established media narrative that the bad things that happen to Palestinians, are of their making and “Israel has the right to defend itself”.Another is the absence of positive gains. The picture at the very top speaks volumes as to what it has accomplished. It drives away Jews who are the very best allies to redirect Israel’s policies. Ones who will help achieve equality under the law. Thinking in terms of force negates effective resistance techniques. It has undermined non-violent activism.

        The world community, in large measure, sympathizes with Palestinian misfortune, respects their steadfastness. Many have been amazed by their hospitality. There is tremendous interest in their enjoying fair play.

        Jews know they will eventually negotiate otherwise animosities will grow. The world has an interest in resolution to protect international norms, so expect negotiations.

        Consider how ineffective force/power is in determining outcomes. Vietnam for example. Political problems are only solved by negotiating. MLK begged his hot heds to stand down to not negate the power of his campaign which was powered by the moral high ground. Blacks in Ferguson made headway with the high ground and public sympathy.

        Force is not always wrong. It is not effective in this situation and is very unlikely to be. If it is used it must be a decision by the government and is well calculated. Its clear dividing has worked for taking advantage. Negotiating is the only viable option and with the insincerity of of Netanyahu, this opportunity to do it in public is a gift.

    • RoHa on February 8, 2020, 12:18 am

      Anyone still trying to make this association knows that the Palestinian claim is weak and that the land belongs to others who came before them.

      Can you explain why the Palestinian claim is weak and the land belongs to others (the Romans, perhaps) who came before them?*

      Jews have always been willing to share, the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians have not.

      And yet we have just seen that Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, First Secretary General of the Arab League, said:

      “I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, …”

      “…Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like.”

      Which looks like as fair an offer to share as one could ask for. And who declined that offer?

      *(I’m asking this mostly for the sake of form. I expect that, as with most of my questions, it will go unanswered.

      Zionists seem to live by Faith. They have lots of wild beliefs, but seldom provide a chain of reasoning to support those beliefs. Perhaps they are all secret Hanbalis, and take it all bi la kayf.)

  8. bcg on February 8, 2020, 1:42 pm

    So recently Commanders For Israel’s Security has put out a position on the “peace plan”: they warn against unilateral annexation.

    But they have some interesting things to say about the possibility of stripping a quarter million Arab-Israeli’s of their Israeli citizenship (I guess they haven’t heard from Mondonut that it’s al a lie…):

    Regardless of our judgement of any facet of the American initiative, it incorporate two unacceptable precedents:…The possibility of including the Arab Triangle, and its 250,000 Israeli Arab citizens, in the area designated for transfer to Palestinian sovereignty. Beyond being morally reprehensible, the very consideration of the idea would severely undermine the process of integration of Arab citizens into Israeli society. The worrisome phenomena of very few Israeli Arabs who over the years cooperated with Israel’s enemies might evolve into a flood, once Arab citizens see no value in loyalty to the state. The price will be paid not only by the Shin Bet, which will face an unprecedented challenge, but by the general public as well.

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