Muhammad Sabaaneh is quoted as saying that he won't exhibit with an Israeli artist as long as Palestine is occupied. Well, that's quite interesting; however, it would have been a nice journalistic service to ask Mr Sabaaneh to describe in clear geographic terms what exactly is "occupied Palestine". I'm quite certain that there are readers who understand that he is talking about the West Bank and Gaza. And, obviously, there are readers who understand that the entire country is occupied. So, what did he mean? Will he be able to exhibit with an Israeli artist when the West Bank and Gaza are liberated? Or will he be able to exhibit with an Israeli artist only when the entire country is under Palestinian control (and in such a case, obviously, there won't be a State of Israel, and so there won't be Israeli citizenship - so he'll be willing to work with an "Israeli artist" who is no longer Israeli).
Actually, no journalist ever asks a Palestinian being interviewed to define the borders of occupation. I would imagine that in general a journalist assumes that "occupied Palestine" is the West Bank, and so there is no reason to ask for clarification. In the case of Mondoweiss, it's a rather good assumption that "occupied Palestine" is understood as meaning the entire country, while at the same time it's obvious that there might be a misunderstanding among the readership. Mondoweiss really should have asked bluntly "what is the territory under occupation, Mr Sabaaneh", thus avoiding deliberate confusion (which might be seen as propaganda).
Keith - You might try and find a copy of Mahmoud Abbas' PhD thesis that he wrote in Moscow in 1982. There you can see that Napoleon is presented as promoting the idea of a Jewish state which is meant to be a tool in the hands of western imperialism. You're absolutely right when you call this "notion" preposterous, but do take note of the fact that this is the Palestinian narrative. This article makes other preposterous claims taken from Mr Abbas' doctorate that you didn't think worth mentioning in your comment. Actually, the article contains an Holocaust-denial argument which should have merited its disqualification by Mondoweiss - but, alas, any anti-Israel line is acceptable in this blog. Anyway, it should be mentioned that the Nazis aspired to kill all the Jews everywhere; hence, the accusation that there was a conspiracy to end Jewish life outside of Palestine is indeed Holocaust-denial (taken from the PhD thesis of Mr Abbas). There was a plan to murder the Jews of Palestine, and "Einsatzgruppe-Egypt" had been set up to follow Rommel's army into Palestine.
Very often in the comments' section, it is claimed that there is no intention to destroy Israel. The claim is that there is a necessity of having a "regime-change" in Israel. Suddenly, we read in plain English in a Mondoweiss article about "a shared struggle to rid the region of Israel and all the reactionary precipitates of the Zionist project". That's sounds to me like the destruction of Israel (and other very extreme goals), and yet no one felt the need to register a mild protest.
The article mentions a 1905 quote from Herzl. That was really funny. You would expect that intellectuals who are so busy with anti-Zionist activism would know that Theodore Herzl died in 1904. Well, the silly mistake is just a little reminder that the article as a whole is sloppy history at the same level of Mr Abbas' doctoral thesis.
When one reads the anti-Israel literature throughout the years, there are a number of messages that are repeated all the time. For example, we are told that "Israel doesn't speak for all the Jews". We learn that "the Jews are not a single people". Moreover, "Israel is a foreign country" and therefore there is an accusation that those Jews who support Israel are "disloyal to the land of their citizenship".
Suddenly, here in Mondoweiss, we hear the earth-shattering news that the "Jewish Voice for Peace rejects Zionism". However, in reading the article, I couldn't help but notice the use of the word "our". It's "our Jewish shame...", and it's "our crimes of continued occupation...", and it's "our confinement of millions...", and it's about "humiliations we have imposed on Palestinians..."
Actually, all this literally took my breath away. It turns out that Israel does in fact speak for all Jews even in the anti-Zionist thinking. If "we" have done something, then it's obvious that "we" must probably include all of us Jews. So, we are a single people, and we have a country that acts in our name and it's our responsibility. How ironic it is to find out that an anti-Zionist is in reality accepting the very basics of the perceived Zionist ideology: The Jews are a people, and Israel is the very center of their Jewish world. (Actually, in reality, it's the Jewish tradition that defines all Jews as a single people and focuses on the Land of Israel as their point of reference, but the anti-Zionists like to pretend that this is an invention of the Zionist Movement).
There are those who are worried that the American Jews are "drifting away" from Israel. It turns out that there is really nothing to worry about. Israel is really the only show in town in the Jewish world. It was always obvious that this is the case, but it was nice to hear from an activist of the JVP that he, too, has placed Israel at the very center of the Jewish collective identity.
This "one-state solution vs. two-state solution" debate is really a boring waste of time. Both concepts have a common denominator, namely "a solution". By "solution", one surely means a solution to the conflict (i.e. the absolute end of conflict, there being no further grievances by either side). And, obviously, either the one-state solution or the two-state solution necessitates an agreement between the two sides. There won't be an agreement, period.
In order to reach a solution to the conflict, one must first define correctly the reason that brought the conflict into being, and then one must propose an idea that rectifies the very grievance that gave birth to the conflict. It's quite rare that an article in Mondoweiss touches on the very birth of the conflict. Generally, in the anti-Israel world, there is a preference to repeat again and again and again all the grievances that came into being AFTER the birth of the conflict. No one ever says that rectifying such grievances ("refugees", "occupation" for example) would mean that the conflict has been solved, because indeed there was a conflict before the war in 1967 ("occupation") and before the 1947 Partition Plan ("refugees"). Obviously, rectifying the consequences of a conflict wouldn't solve the real problem. Moreover, this is not a conflict that was born when one side said that it insists on having a state of its own in part of the country (two-state reality), or when one side said that it insists on living with the other side in a single state (one-state reality). So, it doesn't really matter if we decide on a one-state solution or a two-state solution. The conflict will continue either way.
The Israeli Jews see the country as their ancient homeland to which they have returned after a long exile. The Palestinian Arabs reject the very idea that Palestine is the homeland of another people. In any peaceful or agreed solution, the Arabs will have to accept the idea that the Jews have a right to live in the country (i.e, it is indeed their homeland) - and that is absolutely impossible from the Palestinian point of view. The returning of Jews to a land that is regarded to be "waqf" (an Islamic possession) means that a pre-Islamic civilization is still relevant. This means, of course, that there was no need for Islam in the first place - and that is an intolerable thought. The Palestinians, therefore, can only sign an agreement with the Jews if it is allowed to continue the conflict afterwards; but, obviously, the Jews will not sign an agreement unless it's final and the conflict is over once and for all.
There is another theoretical possibility, and it is the non-peaceful and the non-agreed "solution": The Palestinians could eventually defeat the Jews. The last 100 years seem to indicate that this is a very unlikely scenario. Israel is a very successful and thriving state, and she's very capable of handling the pressures of conflict (including the many, many articles in Mondoweiss).
So, there won't be an agreed end of conflict, and it's impossible to defeat Israel. It seems more likely that the present status quo will continue into the foreseeable future. There will continue being low-level violence against the background of intense propaganda and political activism (none of which will have the slightest impact on changing the reality of life).
Misterioso - Quite a few times you have published a comment in which you bring to our attention some interesting prophecies that supposedly came true. For example, you quote Sigmund Freud's prophesy that there will never be a Jewish state. I always find it strange that you would think that such a prediction came true when it's so obvious that you are spending so much of your time participating in the propaganda war against Israel. Anyway, I think it's wonderful that this time you are making the prophecies. Although it's really difficult to make predictions (especially about the future), at least no one can conclude that you're obviously wrong.
You might find it interesting to learn that not all colonial projects ended up in utter failure. You chose as examples Rhodesia and Algeria, but these are not necessarily the most outstanding chapters in the history of settler communities. If I had to come up with some examples of colonial projects, probably Australia and New Zealand would come to mind. They are very successful societies, as I'm certain you would agree. And there are other very successful colonies that you might have heard of. Canada is also quite nice. So, Rhodesia didn't work out so well, but the 13 colonies that became the USA seem to be managing okay despite their having been abandoned by the government that supported them for well over a century and a half.
Since you don't understand what is a prophesy that has come true, nor do you have a clear understanding of what is a failed settler project, I now wonder if you understand the issue of demographics. You seem to believe that Israel is emptying out, but apparently you have been reading too much slanted "wishful-thinking" of the anti-Israel world. Here's the reality which you'll have to live with: Israel is having a population explosion. Actually, it's the only Jewish community in the world that is growing. When I was a kid, they would tell us in Hebrew school that "there are more Jews in NYC than in the entire Land of Israel..." There was a joke that "the last one out of the Tel-Aviv airport is kindly requested to turn off the lights..." Everyone has been leaving the country for well over a century, but the traffic jams only worsen.
catalan - It's quite true that Israel will never agree to the Palestinian dream of "partition borders or more, full repatriation of millions of refugees...", etc. However, it should be added that the Palestinians themselves will never agree to the Palestinian dream of "partition borders or more, full repatriation of millions of refugees...", etc. There is no proposal that that the Palestinians will accept, even if it's their own proposal. It should be noted out of fairness to the Palestinians that they have never revealed the full list of grievances the rectification of which would mean that the conflict has been resolved to their satisfaction and that they would be willing to accept the existence of Israel. In the case of the grievances that you mentioned (partition borders, return of refugees), these are NOT the issues that brought about the birth of the conflict - so, obviously, from the Palestinian point of view, the conflict with Israel wouldn't be one inch closer to being resolved even if there were an acceptance of the partition borders and a right of return. There are still another infinite number of grievances, so it's quite impossible for the Palestinians to outline the end-game scenario that they themselves could accept.
Mr Gurvitz tells us that "the goal is one state, a democratic one..." However, whenever I read a BDS website, I learn that "the BDS movement does not advocate for a particular solution to the conflict and does not call for either a 'one state solution' or a 'two state solution'." (See https://bdsmovement.net/faqs#collapse16233 ).
At first glimpse, it would seem that there is a contradiction between the goals of the movement as understood by Mr Gurvitz and the goals of the movement as presented in the website that I came across. However, at second thought, there isn't a contradiction at all. Neither Mr Gurvitz nor the BDS website has stated that the issue at hand is a solution to the conflict. Mr Gurvitz doesn't even use the term "solution" in the entire article; and the BDS website does not call for a one-state or a two-state solution. It doesn't call for a solution, period. No one promises that meeting the demands of the BDS Movement would mean that the conflict would come to its end (and it would be solved).
Propaganda is tricky business. The propagandist has to make a statement that is understood by the wider public as being fair and reasonable, but at the same time this statement cannot make a promise that will anger those who are already committed to the ideology. So, by saying that the movement doesn't call for a one-state solution or a two-state solution, one leaves the impression on the wider public that the issue at hand is some sort of a solution to the conflict (although it's not yet clear right now which solution it should be). But, in reality, those committed to the struggle understand that no solution is being offered.
It would be a breath of fresh air to hear that the issue at hand is solving the conflict. Sadly, the anti-Israel crowd doesn't envision a solution. It aspires to achieve victory, to defeat Israel. Since Israel manages to handle the conflict very well, it seems that those who can't propose a solution will have to continue to live with the consequences of an unresolved and endless conflict (although, admittedly, their propaganda is brilliant).
Misterioso - I think that you should consider re-writing your above comment so that it shouldn't be so silly. You claim that Freud's comment ("I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state") is an example of a prediction that became true. Since you are commenting on a website that is perpetually complaining that "Palestine became a Jewish state", perhaps you should understand without outside help that certainly the Freudian prediction turned out to be false. Also the prediction of Henry Morgenthau seems to be utter nonsense. He claims that Zionism impels him "to fight with all the greater force against this scheme". However, as things turned out, he didn't put up much of a fight beyond the routine "bla-bla-bla".
In the part of the article in which you quote yourself, there are a number of minor inaccuracies. Actually, it's all quite similar to the "bla-bla-bla" fight that Henry Morgenthau waged so intensely. Israel enjoys a population explosion (and a booming economy). When the state was founded, there were about 650,000 Jewish citizens therein. Today, that number is much more than 6,500,000 (a ten-fold increase in 70 years). It's rather silly to pretend that there is a trend of diminishing numbers and that there is "panic" among the "Zionist leaders" when in fact everyone knows that the success of Israel is beyond the most optimistic dreams of the most committed dreamers.