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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class”...








 
 

Israel’s Barrier to Peace

Editor’s note: In this Dig, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” examines the way Israel’s security wall has ripped a mortal gash in the lives of Palestinians living in its shadow, and argues that there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East as long as America continues to aid Israel in its dehumanizing practices.




The rage and extremism of the Islamic militants in Lebanon and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza appear incomprehensible to the outside world.  The wanton murder, the raw anti-Semitism, the callous disregard for human life, including the lives of children and other innocents, permit those on the outside to thrust these militant fighters in another moral universe, to certify them as incomprehensible.

But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference.  It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.

The failure by the outside world to react to the years of brutal repression, the refusal by the United States to intercede on behalf of the occupied Lebanese and Palestinians, gradually formed and galvanized the radicals who now occupy the stage with Israel, answering death for death, atrocity for atrocity.

Those inside these zones of occupation pleaded over the years for help.  We refused to listen.  And once they burst through these barriers, enraged, bloodied, bent on revenge, we recoiled in horror, unable to see our complicity.  We asked them to be quiet, to be reasonable, to calm down, and when they did not, their blood heated by years of abuse and neglect, we condemned them to their fate.

The barrier built by Israel in the West Bank is one of the most tangible and important symbols of this long humiliation, this strangulation of the Palestinians by Israel.  To understand the role of this barrier is to begin to understand the rage it has now unleashed.  Understanding is not excusing, but until we grasp that these militants do not come from another moral universe, until we face our own complicity in their creation and the awful violence now underway in Lebanon and the occupied territories, we cannot begin to understand the gross injustices that fuel these militant movements.  It was, after all, the $10 billion in loan guarantees by the United States that made this barrier possible.

Ending the loan guarantees, as long as they were used to build settlements and seize even more Palestinian land, would have done more to blunt the rage and violence of militants than all the iron fragmentation bombs Israel has dropped on the hapless civilians in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

But we react too late.  We react to the manifestation of rage rather than the cause of rage.  We are as morally compromised as those we condemn, as incomprehensible to them as they are to us.  And until we become comprehensible to each other there will not be peace in the Middle East.




There is a 25-foot-high concrete wall in Mrs. Nuhayla Auynaf’s front yard.  The gray mass, punctuated by cylindrical guard towers with narrow window slits for Israeli soldiers, appears from her steps like the side of a docked ocean liner.  It is massive, cold and alien.  The dwarfed shrubs, bushes and stunted fruit trees seem to huddle before it in supplication.  I struggle to make sense of it, the way I struggled to make sense of the smoldering rubble that was the World Trade Center a few hours after the planes hit.

We do not speak.  Mrs. Auynaf lives with the wall.  She is as drawn to it as she is repelled by it.  It absorbs her.  She goes out on her second-floor balcony every morning and looks at it.  She implores it for answers, as if it is a Sphinx that will answer the riddle of her new existence.

“My old life ended with the wall,” she tells me.

The wall, built by Israel a year before, blocked her from the neighboring Israeli town of Kfar Saba where she used to shop.  It cut her off from Israel.  It made it hard to reach the rest of the West Bank.  The lone Israeli checkpoint with its guard towers, floodlights, concrete barriers, dust, stench, crowds, special pass cards, intrusive searches, rude remarks by border police were more than she could bare.  She tried to pass through once.

“I could not stand the humiliation,” she says.  “I turned back.  I went home.  Now I never leave.”

The wall reduces her world to its ugly perimeter.  Her five boys beg to go to the seaside.  The wall makes this impossible.  No one goes to the sea anymore.  There are days when the checkpoint is sealed, days after suicide bombings or days when the Israeli soldiers shut it down abruptly without explanation.  On those days she sometimes gathers up her children and walks the empty streets, wandering like prisoners in a circle.  Other families do the same.  It gives her a sense of movement.  Families pass each other two, three, four times in an afternoon.  All are thinking the same thoughts.

“The town would rent buses to go to the sea,” she says.  “We would go for the day.  We would stand in the water.  We would look at the rocks and the waves.  This was before.”

The house is pleasant.  It was finished at the start of the uprising, when business was good and peace seemed possible.  The floors are marble.  The kitchen has a counter and white appliances.  The sofa and chairs have muted blue and beige stripped fabric.  We sit in the living room.  A large window fan, set on the floor in front of the open door, provides a weak breeze.  The door frame is filled with the expressionless gray face of the wall.  It draws our eyes to it, the way a muted television screen distracts me during conversations.  Sometimes we turn to look at it, as if it is a presence in the room, someone who should be offered sweet tea or a glass or water or asked to leave.  We want it to speak to us.

Her son Ibrahim, 6, sits on her lap.  He has a scar on his leg.  He was shot two years ago by Israeli soldiers.  It happened at dusk.  The soldiers were firing at a group of Palestinian workers who were trying to slip into or out of Israel without proper work permits.  He was watching from the front yard when a bullet went astray.  He stays close to his mother, especially when he hears the sounds of gunshots.  He does not like to leave home.  The world frightens him.

The family was one of the wealthiest in Qalqiliya before the wall ruined them.  They spent $200,000 on their home, with its sloping terra cotta tiled roof, its pleasant garden.  It looks like the homes in the middle-class suburbs outside of Tel Aviv.  Once the wall went up, the family’s car parts business was wiped out.  Mrs. Auynaf’s husband makes less than 10% of what he once earned.  He has trouble shipping car parts into the walled enclosure.  He often cannot reach suppliers.  Customers, those in Israel and those in other areas of the West Bank, can no longer get to his store.  He does not have a permit to drive the family car through the checkpoint.  He must stand in line, often for several hours, to go in and out.  He is away now.  He is trying to salvage his business, but it cannot go on like this.  She hopes he will be home tonight.  But she does not know.  The lines are long.  Sometimes the soldiers get tired or bored or surly and turn people away until the next morning.

“We talk about how we are going to survive, what we are going to do,” she said. 

She hangs laundry on the balcony.  Her only view is the wall.  The other morning she was hanging laundry to dry and she heard singing.  The song was by Fadel Shaker, a popular Arab singer.  The singer had a sweet voice.

“You who are far away, why do you forget those who love you?” the words go.  “When I fall asleep I think only of your eyes.  I think only of you.”

Her five boys were in the yard.  They began to sing.  There was a chorus of voices, the sweet voice and the voices of the children.  She peered up into the glaring sunlight to see the singer.  She saw an Israeli soldier in his green uniform standing on top of the earthen mound on the Israeli side of the wall, the mound the army drives jeeps up to peer down on those below.  He looked like an Olympian god.  She thinks he was a Druze, the tiny, nominally Muslim sect that lives near the border with Syria and serves in the Israeli army and border police.

“He waved when the song finished,” she says.  “The children waved back.  Then he disappeared behind the wall.”

She was on the balcony a few days later.  She was pinning up cloths on the line.  The wooden shutters were open into the house.  She looked up and saw a soldier watching her from the top of the mound.  There was no singing. His raspy voice crackled over the megaphone mounted on the jeep.  He ordered her to go inside and close the shutters.  She obeyed.  Her wet laundry lay behind in the basket.

“I live in a zoo,” she says.  “They come and watch me.  I am a caged animal.  They have the freedom to come and go, to look or not look, to be kind or cruel.  I have no freedom.”

She fears madness.  She points to an elderly woman 200 feet away squatting under a fig tree.

“The wall was the end,” she says.  “When it was finished she went mad.”

We watch the woman.  She is keening slightly.  People are being destroyed by the serpent’s teeth of the wall, springing up from the soil of the West Bank like the evil warriors sown by Cadmus.  This for me is the story, not the amount of concrete or coils of razor wire or razed olive groves and villages, but what all this is doing to human souls.



Next Page: The barrier is the most catastrophic blow to the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Dig last updated on Jul. 25, 2006


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By Barry, September 9, 2006 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to the comment that I’m already living in a place made into hell, sorry to disappoint you, I’ve got a great life in a great Israeli town.  Israel in 50 years has built a great country, successful agriculture and hi-tech industry, multi-national companies and start-ups, the works.

THIS IS WHAT PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA COULD HAVE if they’d stop terror and agree to peaceful co-existance.

Israel even built a big industrial part in Rosh Ha’ayin, right near the green line, intending it to be a joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial center after the Palestinians created a state in the West Bank.  The park is built and functioning.  It could have bootstrapped industry in the West Bank, and put all the international aid that the Palestinians received to good use.  The industrial park on the Israeli side is built, unfortunately the Palestinians have never agreed to stop terror and start their state.

People, this industrial park is built and is a solid fact, like lots of others, showing that Israel wants peace.  There are loads of other examples, like the exclusive casino license in Jerrico years ago.  But terror has to stop first, to have a two-sided commitment to peace.

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By Barry, September 9, 2006 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The situation in Gaza is certainly horrible—BLAME HAMAS.  Terror created the current situation.

For a year after Israel withdrew, Hamas shot over 800 missiles at Sderot.  Every week there were articles in Israeli newspapers asking why the Israeli army wasn’t doing more to stop it, and the answer was always that the army didn’t want to re-enter Gaza, and was waiting for the Palestinians to make Hamas stop.  A full year of missiles.  Finally, the Hamas raid into Israel was an escalation that Israel couldn’t ignore, so the army had to go in.

IF HAMAS HADN’T SHOT MISSILES AT SDEROT, ISRAEL WOULDN’T BE BACK IN GAZA NOW!!

Would you put up with 800 missiles shot at you, without doing anything?  No!  You’d wait a while, and then do whatever you had to do to make them stop.

So when you read articles about the situation in Gaza, remember that Hamas caused it. 

Unless you really think that Israel, after withdrawing from Gaza, should sit back and do nothing when 800 missiles are shot at Sderot.

Stop terror, everyone could build a good life.

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By salman, September 9, 2006 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A recent( August 16 )Canadian Jewish perspective on Arabs in Israel:

The Perils of Ethnic Nationalism (Bennett Muraskin)
Canadian Jewish Outlook July / August 2006

Zionists inside and outside of Israel believe, as an article of faith, that Israel cannot survive as a “Jewish state” without a Jewish majority. As a non-Zionist progressive Jewish humanist, I find this formulation disturbing, because it assumes that Jews and non-Jews are separate species who cannot respect each other’s national or human rights.

What exactly does the term “Jewish state” mean? Is it the same as “Canadian state” or “Italian state?” It is not. Israel defines itself as the state of all Jews in the world rather than the state of all its citizens. Jews hold privileged status over the Arab minority in nearly every walk of life. I, a Jew living freely and securely in the U.S., can automatically emigrate to Israel, be granted citizenship and receive major state support, whereas an Israeli Arab cannot even bring his or her Palestinian spouse into the country. Israeli Arabs’ right to own land is severely restricted. Arabs are excluded from vast sectors of the Israeli economy. They suffer severe housing segregation and most live in dire poverty. Despite the fact that Arabs have the right to vote, no Arab political party has ever been invited to join an Israeli government.

Regardless of how Arab citizens of Israel behave, Arab population growth within Israel is viewed as a demographic threat. Arabs are considered detriments to the “Jewish state” just by being born. There is a campaign underway in Israel to settle more Jews in the Galilee merely because too many Arabs live there. The major argument used by supporters of Israeli withdrawal from some or all of the occupied territories is to preserve the “Jewish majority.” The same argument is used against the admission of non-Jewish immigrants, especially the many foreign labourers in Israel. Anyone who is seriously concerned with human rights should find all this profoundly offensive.

I will not use the word “apartheid” to describe Israel’s policies toward its Arab citizens, because that would be too extreme. However, I would argue that analogies can be drawn to the status of Jews in nations like Poland between World War I and World War II, or to African Americans in the U.S. in the North before the civil rights revolution. Like Jews in prewar Poland, Arabs in Israel are considered undesirable outsiders — a people who can never be “real” Israelis. Like African Americans, Arabs in Israel face intense segregation and discrimination. They are, at best, second-class citizens.

There are two major forms of nationalism — civic and ethnic. Canada, for example, practices civic nationalism. The state does not privilege one ethnic or racial group over another. Israel practices ethnic nationalism. If you are not a Jew, your status is diminished. Judaism enjoys official status as the state religion. The flag and national anthem are identifiably Jewish. There is no bill of rights guaranteeing all citizens equal protection under the law. (The oft-quoted Israeli Declaration of Independence does not have the force of law.)

Of course, there are historical reasons for this state of affairs, rooted in the history of anti-Semitic persecution in Europe. One of the great ironies of Jewish history is that Zionism probably adopted its brand of ethnic “blood and soil” nationalism from anti-Semitic movements in Russia and Eastern Europe that sought to exclude Jews from the national polity as an alien entity. Zionists accepted the anti-Semitic premise that Jews did not belong in Europe. They became convinced that Jews had to establish a state in Palestine where they would first outnumber and then exclude or dominate the Arab minority.

Some might excuse the treatment of Arabs in a Jewish state by arguing that Jews in Arab states have also been treated badly. In defense of this claim, it must be admitted that Arab nationalism is also ethnic in nature and has been shown to denigrate the rights of non-Arabs and non-Muslims, not only Jews, but also Kurds in Iraq and Coptics in Egypt. However, this argument will not hold up as long as Israel considers itself a democracy, accepts U.S. military and diplomatic patronage and seeks the financial, political and moral support of Jews all over the world. In world politics as well as kindergarten, two wrongs don’t make a right.

So what is it about preserving a “Jewish majority” in Israel that is so important? The rock-solid Zionist assumption is that Jews and non-Jews inherently have different interests. This is certainly not a progressive humanist concept. Nor is it born out by the Israeli experience.

Arabs vote for Zionist political parties and have been elected to the Knesset as representatives of these parties, including Meretz, Labour and even Likud. There was a time when the Israeli communist party, now predominantly Arab, had significant Jewish membership. Even self-defined “Arab” parties in the Knesset vote with left/center Zionist parties on many issues. Outside the political arena, there are numerous organizations where Arabs and Jews work together on civic, educational and humanitarian projects.

Jews in Israel are sharply divided along religious/secular, Ashkenazic/Mizrakhi and socio-economic lines. Not all Jews in Israel are Zionists, and among Zionists there are sharp contrasts between those that advocate a two-state solution with full civil rights for the Arab minority, and those that advocate holding a substantial portion of the occupied territories and transferring Israel’s Arab citizens into a Palestinian mini-state. The divisions between ultra-Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews on “synagogue-state” and civil liberties issues can be even fiercer.

If demographics is the only thing that truly counts, then Israeli Jews should be prepared to fall under the control of the ultra-Orthodox and the national religious camp (the base of the settlers), whose high birth rates may result in their becoming the majority among Jews in a few decades. Yet the mantra of “preserving a Jewish majority” is heard even within left-wing Zionist circles, when their own experience shows that they have more in common with progressive Arabs.

It seems to me that the majority that needs to be created in Israel is not Jewish or Arab, but one that unites Jews and Arabs committed to democracy, equality and peace. I do not see a good reason why Jews could not enjoy educational, cultural and religious autonomy whether or not they are in a majority in Israel. Or why there could not be an Arab prime minister some day, elected with the support of Jewish voters. In a future Israeli state, where complete civic equality prevails, Jews (and Arabs) in Israel will simply have to learn to make alliances across ethno-religious lines. This, of course, is the reality in the Diaspora, where Jews are a tiny minority, yet coexist peacefully and cooperate productively with like-minded non-Jews.

I grant that this model is not achievable in Israel in the short term, and maybe not even in the medium term. However, if Jews inside and outside Israel do not begin to examine the contradictions between a “Jewish state” and a state that grants equal rights to all of its citizens, then relations between Jews and Arabs inside Israel will deteriorate to the point where they are beyond repair. When that occurs, the Jewish ethic “do not oppress the stranger,” will become empty rhetoric — if it hasn’t already.

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By Spinoza, September 8, 2006 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Though I don’t completely agree with this article maybe someone will see reason and stop the insanity of hate.

Israel makes some American Jews irrational
Saul Landau
Progreso Weekly, 31 August 2006

Like other progressive Jewish friends, a retired psychology professor justified the invasion of Gaza and then Lebanon. “Israel fights terrorism to meet its legitimate security needs,” she stated—a simple fact. This sadly included routine attacks against civilians in Lebanon and even depriving the Palestinians in Gaza of food and water. “They had to do it. How do you fight fanatics?” she said, sadly but firmly.

She used “fanatics” as code for members of Hamas and Hezbollah. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, “should be killed so that Israel could enjoy some peace. Look at how many good Jewish people have died,” she said, referring to Israeli civilians and soldiers—some were Israeli Arabs—who perished during the war against Lebanon.

In the 1960s and 70s, this woman marched for civil rights and protested against the Vietnam War. She still thinks of Cuba as a progressive place and opposed Bush’s Iraq War. But on Israel, she applies different criteria. “Why should Israelis suffer because of extremists, like Hezbollah and Hamas?”

And the suffering Israel imposed on Palestinians? I asked. Each month residents of Gaza die from Israeli violence at the rate Israelis die from opposing force every two decades.

“Too bad they have to suffer. They refused good chances repeatedly. Look how they rejected peace at Camp David, referring to the “generous” offer by Ehud Barak in July 2000.”

In several versions of events at that summit, presided over by Bill Clinton, all agree that Israeli and American negotiators offered Arafat a Palestinian state based on Israel turning over more than 90% of West Bank land to the Palestinians along with Gaza and a land passage between the two. Israel would have pulled out of 63 settlements. The agreement allegedly called for Arab East Jerusalem to become the new capital. Refugees would have the right of return to Palestine, and would receive reparations from a large international fund. Arafat would concede Israeli sovereignty over the religiously important parts of the Western Wall.

Arafat refused the offer, but had no counterproposal. Clinton pushed, indicating that Arafat’s silence indicated “you, the Palestinians, did not come to this summit with sincere intentions.” Rob Malley, Clinton’s adviser who attended the meeting, claimed “Barak was eager for a deal, wanted it achieved during Clinton’s term in office, and had surrounded himself with some of Israel’s most peace-minded politicians.” Clinton blamed Arafat for the summit’s failure. A subsequent non-written Clinton plan, to which Barak agreed, fell apart just before Clinton left office in January 2001 when Arafat objected to Israeli control of parts of the Western Wall. Soon after, Sharon replaced Barak as Prime Minister. Arafat gave the nod to violence as a Palestinian strategy, thus freezing negotiations. Three days before Clinton left office, Arafat supposedly said “you are a great man.” “The hell I am,” Clinton said he responded. “I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.” (Ma’ariv, April 6, 2001)

Arafat’s failures as a leader do not explain why Israelis think that violence will prevail after decades of failing to win peace and security through that tactic. Why would Palestinians in Hamas and Lebanese in Hezbollah change their minds because Israel bombs them? After all, from 1948 on Israelis drove Palestinians from their homes and destroyed their villages. Now, their angry kids and grandkids, whose numbers have multiplied, confront Israel.

“Israel,” my professor friend averred, “is a democracy. That separates it from those other regimes.” She, like Progressive Zionists in Israel and the United States, believe that Israel must survive both as a “Jewish state” and as a democracy.

Zionism as an ideology brought Jews back into the mainstream of world history. Ironically, many of the leaders of the movement to create a Jewish state were also atheists, who did not think initially that orthodox Jews, whom they sneered at socially, would play a heavy role in determining the contours of the Jewish state. Some Israeli founders, socialists and humanists believed that Jews and Palestinians could live together in a Jewish state. But if the one person one vote rule applies, the future of a Jewish state will face the fact that Arabs outnumber Jews.

Israel has responded to the growing Arab birth rate by luring Jews—including lots of Russians, whose “Jewishness” appeared somewhat dubious. They tried to “settle” them in the occupied territories. Some Orthodox rabbis even sanctioned the recruitment and conversion of descendents of Peruvian Incas who were transported to the West Bank and recruited into the IDF. Some of this “settling” followed the Oslo Accords of the mid 1990s, which at least in spirit vitiated against such encroachments on Palestinian land.

This expansion process led to an increased role for the military—to protect the new enclaves. More Palestinians had to move, and more holes grew in the shrinking and non-contiguous Palestinian territory. Militant and ultra right sects, frustrated over Israel’s inability to force the remaining Palestinians out, became violent.

In 2004, a group of the late Rabbi Meyer Kahane’s followers, linked to the Jewish Defense League in the United States, assaulted Arabs trying to harvest their olive crops. When John Ross and others volunteered as peaceful witnesses to try to deter the attacks, a gang of thugs wearing skull caps descended on him and beat him so badly he had to go to the hospital for a week. Ross protested at them “beating an old Jewish man.” They called him “traitor” as they brought their baseball bats down on his body.

In 1984, the “scholarly” equivalent of such thuggery emerged in Joan Peters’ From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. Palestinians never existed, she asserted. Those who call themselves by that name are recent immigrants, she argued. The book became a big seller and received rave reviews from the New York Times and Washington Post and from noted authors like Saul Bellow, Barbara Tuchman and Elie Wiesel.

Noam Chomsky concluded that the Peters book justified Israel eliminating Palestinians from the area because it would raise “no moral issue, because they’re just recent immigrants who came in because the Jews had built up the country.” (Understanding Power, 2002)

Norman Finkelstein, then a graduate student at Princeton, read the book, checked Peters’ sources and then accused her of perpetrating a fraud. In Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (1995), Finkelstein used Peters’ own sources to show how she had fabricated and distorted the evidence.

In England, Paul Blair (April 20, 2002) also refuted the Peters thesis, “that the land was empty when the Jews arrived and that the Palestinians are recent arrivals.”

Blair called From Time Immemorial a “work of propaganda, with all the bad connotations that term carries ... distortion and fabrication… She cribs uncritically from partisan works. She conceals crucial calculations, and draws hard conclusions from tenuous evidence. She speculates wildly and without ground. She exaggerates figures and selects numbers to suit her thesis. She adduces evidence that in no way supports her claims, sometimes even omitting “inconvenient” portions of the citation… She “forgets” undesirable numbers in her calculations. She ignores sources that cast doubt on her conclusions, even when she herself uses those sources for other purposes.”

Most scholars now accept the fallacies of Peters’ thesis of non-existent Palestinians. But the fear many liberal American Jews share for Israel’s future is expressed by condoning behavior they have rejected from their own country. My professor friend, for example, felt that Israel was justified in kidnapping elected Hamas Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Al Shaer from his West Bank home on August 19. “How else do you fight terrorists?” she replied.

Israeli heroes like Itzhak Shamir and Menachem Began once earned the terrorist label. In 1946, they helped blow up the King David Hotel and dispatched scores of civilians. They sent letter bombs to British officials. The label also applied to one of her heroes, Nelson Mandela. I watched her squirm as I reminded her that in 1976 three Israeli heads of state Moshe Dayan, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin hosted apartheid South Africa’s Prime Minister John Vorster during his visit to Jerusalem.

“I guess,” she said, “that survival can force people to associate with the Devil.”

On August 19, Israeli survival called for a raid on Lebanon, violating the UN backed truce that ended the five week war. “The secretary-general,” the newspaper story said, “is deeply concerned about a violation by the Israeli side of the cessation of hostilities as laid out in Security Council resolution 1701.” On August 21, Israelis again crossed the border to kill supposed Hezbollah “terrorists.” One Israeli solder died. On August 23 Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes against civilians.

When Jews die in conflicts tinged with anti-Semitism, I share my fellow progressives’ concern. But the number of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian dead and wounded far surpasses that of Israel. Do progressives actually believe that continued bombings will turn Palestinians and Lebanese into obedient neighbors, free of anger and hatred toward those who took their land?

Copyright 2006 Progreso Weekly

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 8, 2006 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can Bush be driven out?

One way. Elect a vast majority of Democrats. It does not make much difference as to the policies and beliefs of the individual Democrats. The purpose is to get Bush out of power before it is too late. To wait two more years is dangerous. A vast majority of Democrats will make it possible to bring justice to bear on the crimes of the Bush administration.

Articles of impeachment are written and ready to throw into the hopper. With the majority of Republicans in place it would go nowhere. With enough Democrats and the criminal record Bush could be impeached successfully. Quite a few Republicans would join. This is a crisis. We have a single party in power in such a way that our way of government could be destroyed before anything could be done to stop it. That is precisely how Hitler got into power in 1933 in Germany. The people support him and he ruled by decree.

Already Bush is thumbing his nose at the Supreme Court and all the forces for democracy in America. Cheny is a petty dictator type who, if he is not impeached at the same time, could do more damage than Bush does. This would have to be a dual impeachment with a Democrat speaker of the house of representatives in line to succeed to the presidency with the impeachment of the president and vice president. Bush, Cheny, and their crowd would probable have to be forcefully evicted from power. Fortunately, enough Generals and Admirals of the military are fed up with Bush and would obey a presidential order by the new president to keep control of the military forces. Rumsfeld is not as powerful there as he believes he is. A number of flag rank officers have voiced their concern.

Historically we have never been closer to losing the nation than we are right now. Even when one president defied the Supreme Court, we weathered that storm. We also weathered a Civil War. Read up on the Nixon affair. It was Republicans who told Nixon that he was finished. But too many Republicans are with the criminal acts of the president to do that for us.

Work like hell to get a hugh democrat majority in House and Senate. Especially if you are Republican in politics, vote Democrat this time, no matter what. The danger from the left is no where near as dangerous at this time as the danger from the right.

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By JSD, September 8, 2006 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The wall is, in itself, a picture of a world-wide failure to come to terms with the problems in Palestine.

A friend of mine once said that the stupidest thing that Western Civilization ever did was to permit the creation of a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world. “If the West wanted a Jewish state, they should have given them part of Montana, say, or Australia—anything other than what they did,” he said.

Perhaps, but as things stand, infinitely more could have been done by now to foster a just solution to the problem. And, the Western World stands tried and convicted of the crime against humanity of not doing enough to find a solution to the problem which they created.

For the U.S. to permit domestic politics to block an effort towards such justice beyond the perceived exigencies of the late Cold War, is a crime for which punishment falls, not on the U.S., but squarely on the peoples, both Jew and Arab, of the Middle East.

Justice is our prisoner, locked up, shut away and forgotten. Under the Bush administration, the U.S. is at enmity with Justice or any other virtue. To do good, to bring benefit to peoples most in need of it, to do Justice, this is all sacrificed in the name of the antiseptic and off-handed language of “…brings clarity…” and other casually offered phrases which utterly pass over the fact of horrendous human suffering.

A certain kind of reader of the above feels the kind of feelings that permit the politics that perpetuate this crime. Most others, regardless of how progressive they may believe their politics to be, quite simply cannot relate to such suffering. Taken together with the great vacuous middle of unconcern, such strains of our civilization’s spirit constitute both criminal conspiracy and mindless neglect.

Shame on the West not to have to fear Justice, for only things apparently such as TiVo and the like, beckon to us, and inspire our fervent attention

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By Justice4all, September 8, 2006 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It looks like land is not the only thing Israel is stealing from Palestinians. It is now art and culture. Please read below; this has nothing to do with politics or history.

I hope that Palestinian Embroidery and Falafel are not next.

Statement issued by the League of Palestinian Artists
After conducting a thorough review of Palestinian Art, by Israeli art historian Gannit Ankori; (Reaction Books Ltd. 2006) the League of Palestinian Artists deemed it necessary to release the following statement regarding “Part I-Foundations, pp.15-57” of the book. The three chapters making up this part are wrought with plagiarism, falsifications and the misrepresentation of sources which all lead to the distortion of facts in writing the history of Palestinian art.  The author did not bother to comply with some of the most basic ethical codes of professional practice. Ankori’s violations may be summed up as follows:
First:  The author intentionally falsified and misrepresented the pioneering field research originally conducted by our Palestinian colleague, artist and researcher Kamal Boullata whose studies have appeared in books, encyclopedias, exhibition catalogues and academic journals.  Published over the last three decades, Boullata’s studies were the first to document a painting tradition in Palestine since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In light of the historical background he unraveled, he proceeded over the years to analyze the evolvement of Palestinian art in the aftermath of the 1948 national catastrophe (al-Nakba) that culminated in the uprooting and dispersal of Palestinian society.
Secondly: While purporting to present an academic historic study based on her personal findings, Ankori employed different forms of plagiarism. To deflect exposure, at times she included incomplete quotations or selective citations from Boullata’s studies that serve her claimed thesis; at other times, she disregarded all proper attribution to her source. Thus, original ideas developed and analyses revealed in Boullata’s writings were wholly appropriated and presented by Ankori as if they were her own.
Based on our examination of both parties texts, and regardless of the author in quesiton being an Israeli, the League of Palestinian Artists expresses its full solidarity with artist and researcher Kamal Boullata not on the basis of his being a Palestinian, but rather because his pioneering studies and historic findings, which concern us in the first place, have been mangled and fraudulently appropriated. Gannit Ankoris plagiarism did not only violate Boullata’s rights as a writer but we consider her own writing as an assault on the very historicity of Palestinian art.
Thus, in the name of the League of Palestinian Artists, we ask researchers, art historians, the mass media and all cultural workers to take note of this highly camouflaged case of plagiarism. Readers should approach Ankori’s writing with a critical eye that allows them to recognize what appears to be a genuine contribution to documenting a history of Palestinian art, as nothing more than a rehashing of conclusions reached by someone else as verified by published evidence. We must realize that such insidious practices perpetuated by some Israeli researchers who appoint themselves in a position to speak for the Palestinians could only be understood in the context of a colonialist mentality. This kind of appropriation of intellectual property is taking place at the same time in which the Israeli authorities are continuing to seize the remaining lands in our country, and in the process burying its actual history.
Finally, in response to Gannit Ankori’s dedication of her book to Palestinian artists: We, the League of Palestinian Artists, reject her dedication and demand from her an apology for violating the intellectual rights of artist and researcher Kamal Boullata.

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By Justice4all, September 8, 2006 at 5:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is humanity and democracy!!

By Patrick Cockburn in Gaza
Published: 08 September 2006

Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world’s attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq.

A whole society is being destroyed. There are 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned in the most heavily populated area in the world. Israel has stopped all trade. It has even forbidden fishermen to go far from the shore so they wade into the surf to try vainly to catch fish with hand-thrown nets.

Many people are being killed by Israeli incursions that occur every day by land and air. A total of 262 people have been killed and 1,200 wounded, of whom 60 had arms or legs amputated, since 25 June, says Dr Juma al-Saqa, the director of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City which is fast running out of medicine. Of these, 64 were children and 26 women. This bloody conflict in Gaza has so far received only a fraction of the attention given by the international media to the war in Lebanon.

It was on 25 June that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive and two other soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants who used a tunnel to get out of the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of this, writes Gideon Levy in the daily Haaretz, the Israeli army “has been rampaging through Gaza - there’s no other word to describe it - killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately”. Gaza has essentially been reoccupied since Israeli troops and tanks come and go at will. In the northern district of Shajhayeh they took over several houses last week and stayed five days. By the time they withdrew, 22 Palestinians had been killed, three houses were destroyed and groves of olive, citrus and almond trees had been bulldozed.

Fuad al-Tuba, the 61-year-old farmer who owned a farm here, said: “They even destroyed 22 of my bee-hives and killed four sheep.” He pointed sadly to a field, its brown sandy earth churned up by tracks of bulldozers, where the stumps of trees and broken branches with wilting leaves lay in heaps. Near by a yellow car was standing on its nose in the middle of a heap of concrete blocks that had once been a small house.

His son Baher al-Tuba described how for five days Israeli soldiers confined him and his relatives to one room in his house where they survived by drinking water from a fish pond. “Snipers took up positions in the windows and shot at anybody who came near,” he said. “They killed one of my neighbours called Fathi Abu Gumbuz who was 56 years old and just went out to get water.”

Sometimes the Israeli army gives a warning before a house is destroyed. The sound that Palestinians most dread is an unknown voice on their cell phone saying they have half an hour to leave their home before it is hit by bombs or missiles. There is no appeal.

But it is not the Israeli incursions alone that are destroying Gaza and its people. In the understated prose of a World Bank report published last month, the West Bank and Gaza face “a year of unprecedented economic recession. Real incomes may contract by at least a third in 2006 and poverty to affect close to two thirds of the population.” Poverty in this case means a per capita income of under $2 (£1.06) a day.

There are signs of desperation everywhere. Crime is increasing. People do anything to feed their families. Israeli troops entered the Gaza industrial zone to search for tunnels and kicked out the Palestinian police. When the Israelis withdrew they were replaced not by the police but by looters. On one day this week there were three donkey carts removing twisted scrap metal from the remains of factories that once employed thousands.

“It is the worst year for us since 1948 [when Palestinian refugees first poured into Gaza],” says Dr Maged Abu-Ramadan, a former ophthalmologist who is mayor of Gaza City. “Gaza is a jail. Neither people nor goods are allowed to leave it. People are already starving. They try to live on bread and falafel and a few tomatoes and cucumbers they grow themselves.”

The few ways that Gazans had of making money have disappeared. Dr Abu-Ramadan says the Israelis “have destroyed 70 per cent of our orange groves in order to create security zones.” Carnations and strawberries, two of Gaza’s main exports, were thrown away or left to rot. An Israeli air strike destroyed the electric power station so 55 per cent of power was lost. Electricity supply is now becoming almost as intermittent as in Baghdad.

The Israeli assault over the past two months struck a society already hit by the withdrawal of EU subsidies after the election of Hamas as the Palestinian government in March. Israel is withholding taxes owed on goods entering Gaza. Under US pressure, Arab banks abroad will not transfer funds to the government.

Two thirds of people are unemployed and the remaining third who mostly work for the state are not being paid. Gaza is now by far the poorest region on the Mediterranean. Per capita annual income is $700, compared with $20,000 in Israel. Conditions are much worse than in Lebanon where Hizbollah liberally compensates war victims for loss of their houses. If Gaza did not have enough troubles this week there were protest strikes and marches by unpaid soldiers, police and security men. These were organised by Fatah, the movement of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, which lost the election to Hamas in January. His supporters marched through the streets waving their Kalashnikovs in the air. “Abu Mazen you are brave,” they shouted. “Save us from this disaster.” Sour-looking Hamas gunmen kept a low profile during the demonstration but the two sides are not far from fighting it out in the streets.

The Israeli siege and the European boycott are a collective punishment of everybody in Gaza. The gunmen are unlikely to be deterred. In a bed in Shifa Hospital was a sturdy young man called Ala Hejairi with wounds to his neck, legs, chest and stomach. “I was laying an anti-tank mine last week in Shajhayeh when I was hit by fire from an Israeli drone,” he said. “I will return to the resistance when I am better. Why should I worry? If I die I will die a martyr and go to paradise.”

His father, Adel, said he was proud of what his son had done adding that three of his nephews were already martyrs. He supported the Hamas government: “Arab and Western countries want to destroy this government because it is the government of the resistance.”

As the economy collapses there will be many more young men in Gaza willing to take Ala Hejairi’s place. Untrained and ill-armed most will be killed. But the destruction of Gaza, now under way, will ensure that no peace is possible in the Middle East for generations to come.

The deadly toll

* After the kidnap of Cpl Gilad Shalit by Palestinians on 25 June, Israel launched a massive offensive and blockade of Gaza under the operation name Summer Rains.

* The Gaza Strip’s 1.3 million inhabitants, 33 per cent of whom live in refugee camps, have been under attack for 74 days.

* More than 260 Palestinians, including 64 children and 26 women, have been killed since 25 June. One in five is a child. One Israeli soldier has been killed and 26 have been wounded.

* 1,200 Palestinians have been injured, including up to 60 amputations. A third of victims brought to hospital are children.

* Israeli warplanes have launched more than 250 raids on Gaza, hitting the two power stations and the foreign and Information ministries.

* At least 120 Palestinian structures including houses, workshops and greenhouses have been destroyed and 160 damaged by the Israelis.

* The UN has criticised Israel’s bombing, which has caused an estimated $1.8bn in damage to the electricity grid and leaving more than a million people without regular access to drinking water.

* The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says 76 Palestinians, including 19 children, were killed by Israeli forces in August alone. Evidence shows at least 53 per cent were not participating in hostilities.

* In the latest outbreak of violence, three Palestinians were killed yesterday when Israeli troops raided a West Bank town in search of a wanted militant. Two of those killed were unarmed, according to witnesses.

Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world’s attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq.

A whole society is being destroyed. There are 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned in the most heavily populated area in the world. Israel has stopped all trade. It has even forbidden fishermen to go far from the shore so they wade into the surf to try vainly to catch fish with hand-thrown nets.

Many people are being killed by Israeli incursions that occur every day by land and air. A total of 262 people have been killed and 1,200 wounded, of whom 60 had arms or legs amputated, since 25 June, says Dr Juma al-Saqa, the director of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City which is fast running out of medicine. Of these, 64 were children and 26 women. This bloody conflict in Gaza has so far received only a fraction of the attention given by the international media to the war in Lebanon.

It was on 25 June that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive and two other soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants who used a tunnel to get out of the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of this, writes Gideon Levy in the daily Haaretz, the Israeli army “has been rampaging through Gaza - there’s no other word to describe it - killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately”. Gaza has essentially been reoccupied since Israeli troops and tanks come and go at will. In the northern district of Shajhayeh they took over several houses last week and stayed five days. By the time they withdrew, 22 Palestinians had been killed, three houses were destroyed and groves of olive, citrus and almond trees had been bulldozed.

Fuad al-Tuba, the 61-year-old farmer who owned a farm here, said: “They even destroyed 22 of my bee-hives and killed four sheep.” He pointed sadly to a field, its brown sandy earth churned up by tracks of bulldozers, where the stumps of trees and broken branches with wilting leaves lay in heaps. Near by a yellow car was standing on its nose in the middle of a heap of concrete blocks that had once been a small house.

His son Baher al-Tuba described how for five days Israeli soldiers confined him and his relatives to one room in his house where they survived by drinking water from a fish pond. “Snipers took up positions in the windows and shot at anybody who came near,” he said. “They killed one of my neighbours called Fathi Abu Gumbuz who was 56 years old and just went out to get water.”

Sometimes the Israeli army gives a warning before a house is destroyed. The sound that Palestinians most dread is an unknown voice on their cell phone saying they have half an hour to leave their home before it is hit by bombs or missiles. There is no appeal.

But it is not the Israeli incursions alone that are destroying Gaza and its people. In the understated prose of a World Bank report published last month, the West Bank and Gaza face “a year of unprecedented economic recession. Real incomes may contract by at least a third in 2006 and poverty to affect close to two thirds of the population.” Poverty in this case means a per capita income of under $2 (£1.06) a day.

There are signs of desperation everywhere. Crime is increasing. People do anything to feed their families. Israeli troops entered the Gaza industrial zone to search for tunnels and kicked out the Palestinian police. When the Israelis withdrew they were replaced not by the police but by looters. On one day this week there were three donkey carts removing twisted scrap metal from the remains of factories that once employed thousands.

“It is the worst year for us since 1948 [when Palestinian refugees first poured into Gaza],” says Dr Maged Abu-Ramadan, a former ophthalmologist who is mayor of Gaza City. “Gaza is a jail. Neither people nor goods are allowed to leave it. People are already starving. They try to live on bread and falafel and a few tomatoes and cucumbers they grow themselves.”

The few ways that Gazans had of making money have disappeared. Dr Abu-Ramadan says the Israelis “have destroyed 70 per cent of our orange groves in order to create security zones.” Carnations and strawberries, two of Gaza’s main exports, were thrown away or left to rot. An Israeli air strike destroyed the electric power station so 55 per cent of power was lost. Electricity supply is now becoming almost as intermittent as in Baghdad.

The Israeli assault over the past two months struck a society already hit by the withdrawal of EU subsidies after the election of Hamas as the Palestinian government in March. Israel is withholding taxes owed on goods entering Gaza. Under US pressure, Arab banks abroad will not transfer funds to the government.

Two thirds of people are unemployed and the remaining third who mostly work for the state are not being paid. Gaza is now by far the poorest region on the Mediterranean. Per capita annual income is $700, compared with $20,000 in Israel. Conditions are much worse than in Lebanon where Hizbollah liberally compensates war victims for loss of their houses. If Gaza did not have enough troubles this week there were protest strikes and marches by unpaid soldiers, police and security men. These were organised by Fatah, the movement of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, which lost the election to Hamas in January. His supporters marched through the streets waving their Kalashnikovs in the air. “Abu Mazen you are brave,” they shouted. “Save us from this disaster.” Sour-looking Hamas gunmen kept a low profile during the demonstration but the two sides are not far from fighting it out in the streets.

The Israeli siege and the European boycott are a collective punishment of everybody in Gaza. The gunmen are unlikely to be deterred. In a bed in Shifa Hospital was a sturdy young man called Ala Hejairi with wounds to his neck, legs, chest and stomach. “I was laying an anti-tank mine last week in Shajhayeh when I was hit by fire from an Israeli drone,” he said. “I will return to the resistance when I am better. Why should I worry? If I die I will die a martyr and go to paradise.”

His father, Adel, said he was proud of what his son had done adding that three of his nephews were already martyrs. He supported the Hamas government: “Arab and Western countries want to destroy this government because it is the government of the resistance.”

As the economy collapses there will be many more young men in Gaza willing to take Ala Hejairi’s place. Untrained and ill-armed most will be killed. But the destruction of Gaza, now under way, will ensure that no peace is possible in the Middle East for generations to come.

The deadly toll

* After the kidnap of Cpl Gilad Shalit by Palestinians on 25 June, Israel launched a massive offensive and blockade of Gaza under the operation name Summer Rains.

* The Gaza Strip’s 1.3 million inhabitants, 33 per cent of whom live in refugee camps, have been under attack for 74 days.

* More than 260 Palestinians, including 64 children and 26 women, have been killed since 25 June. One in five is a child. One Israeli soldier has been killed and 26 have been wounded.

* 1,200 Palestinians have been injured, including up to 60 amputations. A third of victims brought to hospital are children.

* Israeli warplanes have launched more than 250 raids on Gaza, hitting the two power stations and the foreign and Information ministries.

* At least 120 Palestinian structures including houses, workshops and greenhouses have been destroyed and 160 damaged by the Israelis.

* The UN has criticised Israel’s bombing, which has caused an estimated $1.8bn in damage to the electricity grid and leaving more than a million people without regular access to drinking water.

* The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says 76 Palestinians, including 19 children, were killed by Israeli forces in August alone. Evidence shows at least 53 per cent were not participating in hostilities.

* In the latest outbreak of violence, three Palestinians were killed yesterday when Israeli troops raided a West Bank town in search of a wanted militant. Two of those killed were unarmed, according to witnesses.

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By Get Off Your High Horse, Israel-Head, September 8, 2006 at 3:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Barry (or whoever) says: “Fine, so you think Arafat should have asked Barak for more.  Legitimate.  But Arafat didn’t do that.  He bombed busses instead.”

No, actually the 2nd intifada didn’t start until after Ariel Sharon - (rightly regarded as a loathsome war criminal and murderous racist by Palestinians and the rest of the world excluding stupid Americans and racist Israelis) decided to launch his political comeback by barging into the grand mosque of Jerusalem with a phalanx of soldiers armed to the teeth, a degrading show of “who’s boss around here”, and then Israel shot and killed unarmed Palestinians who came to protest.

(I’d tell you to go to hell, but I see you’ve already made a hell of the place where your living.)

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By Barry, September 8, 2006 at 12:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Salman wrote:

> “Israel is a theocracy, which actively
> discriminates against non-Jewish persons.
> Ninety-three percent of Israel is off limits
> to resident Christians and Muslims. They
> cannot own homes or businesses, work in
> stores, attend schools or even travel
> through Jewish only zones.”

Sheer and total baloney.  Name one area that Christians or Arabs cannot travel through.  Name one who was denied the right to own a business or attend a school.

People, I’ve been in Arab nightclubs, I’ve bought in Arab-owned stores, I’ve seen Arabs working in just about every store and restaurant in Israel. 

“Cannot work in stores” ??  Ha!  I doubt there’s a single reasonably-sized store in Israel that doesn’t employ Arabs.  You name a town, I’ll get you a picture of Arabs working in stores there. 

Why do you think all the Palestinians want to cross the border into Israel, to sit in coffee shops?  Why do they complain when Israel closes its border (like US does to Mexico)?  It’s for the jobs they can get in Israel! 

The claims above are utterly rediculous, typical of the kind of baloney that people make up to discredit Israel.

PEOPLE you can disagree with Israeli policies all you want.  But let’s at least stick to truth!

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By sPINOZA, September 7, 2006 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“My Jewish parents were forced to leave Iraq in 1950’s.

Who forced them?  There was a number of bombs set off at Jewish homes and Synagogues but I have read arguments by some who claim they were set off by Zionists to convince Jews to leave for Israel.

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By Spinoza, September 7, 2006 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The below post by Mr. Parry is on the money in terms of analysis.

It is an emergency to drive out the Bush regime. What can we do to stop the Bushites?

At least (ALL OUT OCT 5)

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By SPINOZA, September 7, 2006 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ELECTION 2006 AND WORLD WAR THREE

By Robert Parry

09/07/06 “Consortiumnews ”——As Americans go to the polls in two months, they should have one thought fixed in their minds: they will be voting on whether to commit the nation to fighting World War III against large segments of the world’s one billion Muslims. Beyond the cost in blood and treasure, this war will mean the end of the United States as a democratic Republic.

Those are the stakes that were made clear by George W. Bush in an alarmist speech to an association of U.S. military officers on Sept. 5. He declared that the United States must battle not only likely or even possible threats from terrorists, but the most fantastical dreams of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda about a mystical global “caliphate.”

Adopting some of the most extreme rhetoric favored by his neoconservative advisers, Bush also broadened the “war on terror” beyond al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists and the Sunni-dominated Iraqi insurgency to include the Shiite-run Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and the Shiite government of Iran.

“As we continue to fight al-Qaeda and these Sunni extremists inspired by their radical ideology, we also face the threat posed by Shia extremists, who are learning from al-Qaeda, increasing their assertiveness and stepping up their threats,” Bush said.

“This Shia strain of Islamic radicalism is just as dangerous, and just as hostile to America, and just as determined to establish its brand of hegemony across the broader Middle East,” Bush continued. “And the Shia extremists have achieved something that al-Qaeda has so far failed to do: In 1979, they took control of a major power, the nation of Iran, subjugating its proud people to a regime of tyranny, and using that nation’s resources to fund the spread of terror and pursue their radical agenda.”

Bush also cited his determination to defeat Hezbollah, a Shiite movement in Lebanon that is now a prominent part of the elected Lebanese government and broadly popular because its militia battled the Israeli army when it invaded Lebanon in July.

Bush referred to Hezbollah’s leader as “the terrorist Nasrallah,” suggesting the United States has joined Israel in its determination to kill Sheikh Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah who was rated the most respected leader in the Middle East by an August 2006 poll in Egypt, which is considered one of Washington’s staunchest regional allies.

Ranked second in that Egyptian poll was Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, another target of the Bush administration. By contrast, Egypt’s pro-American president Hosni Mubarak wasn’t even in the top 10, coming in 11th. Polls across the Middle East also have shown almost universal disapproval of the Bush administration and its policies.

So, Bush has set the United States on course to battle not only the stateless terrorists of al-Qaeda and the stubborn insurgents in Iraq but Islamic political leaders who have widespread support among the Muslim masses. How the United States would win such a war or even assemble the vast numbers of soldiers needed is hard to comprehend.

‘World War III’

Bush’s virtual declaration of war on the Islamic world ranks as possibly the most ambitious military plan in American history – and without doubt the most reckless. This so-called “long war,” which Bush’s followers hail as “World War III,” would mean fighting large portions of a religious movement that has the allegiance of about one-sixth of the planet’s population.

Muslims are concentrated in nations from northern Africa to East Asia, but also include large numbers in Europe and North America.

Nevertheless, in his address to the military officers, Bush talked bravely about how confident he is that the United States will win this war. “America will not bow down to tyrants,” he declared to applause.

Bush’s experience over the past five years, however, suggests that his strategy would require a full-scale transformation of the United States into a warrior nation, committed to a virtual endless struggle against any and all Islamic extremists who harbor thoughts of power, no matter how fanciful those imaginings might be.

A key point in Bush’s argument is that al-Qaeda has expressed a dream of creating a “caliphate” reaching from Spain to Indonesia. Bush described the steps to this empire as starting with “numerous, decentralized operating bases across the world, from which they can plan new attacks, and advance their vision of a unified, totalitarian Islamic state that can confront and eventually destroy the free world.”

But the reality is that prior to Bush’s presidency, al-Qaeda was a marginal movement in the Islamic world, driven out of countries across northern Africa, hounded by secular governments in the Middle East, and expelled even from the Sudan.

In summer 2001, as Bush brushed aside CIA warnings about bin Laden’s plans to strike inside the United States, al-Qaeda leaders were holed up in caves in Afghanistan, literally chased to the ends of the earth.

Then, after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington – and the U.S. counterattack in Afghanistan – bin Laden fled to the mountains of Tora Bora where he apologized to his followers for leading them to what looked like defeat both militarily and politically, since the vast majority of Muslims had joined the rest of the world in condemning the 9/11 attacks.

At that crucial moment, the Saudi terrorist leader set off on horseback along with a small band of supporters and was surprised to find that Bush hadn’t ordered in U.S. troops to cut off al-Qaeda’s escape routes. Bush already was shifting his focus to Iraq, which was governed by a secular dictator who had persecuted Islamic extremists like bin Laden. [See, for instance, Ron Suskind’s account in The One Percent Doctrine.]

Military Blunder

The failure to trap or kill bin Laden at Tora Bora might rank as one of modern history’s worst military blunders. But in his Sept. 5 speech, Bush instead cited other historical failures – what he called missed opportunities to eliminate Lenin and Hitler when they were living in obscurity and writing about their improbable dreams of power.

“In the early 1900s, an exiled lawyer in Europe published a pamphlet called ‘What Is To Be Done?’ – in which he laid out his plans to launch a communist revolution in Russia,” Bush said. “The world did not heed Lenin’s words, and paid a terrible price. …

“In the 1920s, a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews. The world ignored Hitler’s words, and paid a terrible price.”

But the problem with Bush’s history lesson is that wiping out some future Lenin or Hitler would require killing or imprisoning anyone who wrote about political change in a way that rulers considered objectionable or threatening at that time. While “predictive assassination” might eliminate a Lenin or a Hitler, it also might kill a Mandela or a Jefferson.

What Bush appears to be advocating is the end of free speech and free thought, or at least the regulation and punishment of speech and thought that he disdains. Bush is extending his concept of “preemptive war” – launching attacks against countries that might present a future threat to the United States – to “preemptive thought control,” eliminating political opponents who might pose some future threat.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the U.S. government from criminalizing speech. But Bush is indicating that he and his political followers believe that, amid the “war on terror,” it is justifiable to do just that.

Al-Qaeda Plot

In another chilling passage in his speech, Bush laid out a scenario for labeling criticism of him in the U.S. news media as part of al-Qaeda’s terrorist strategy. Bush claimed that bin Laden wrote to Taliban leader Mullah Omar about launching “a media campaign … to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Bush said this media campaign would send the American people messages, including “that their government [will] bring them more losses, in finances and casualties.” Bush continued that bin Laden’s media plan “aims at creating pressure from the American people on the American government to stop their campaign against Afghanistan.”

Bush cited this supposed al-Qaeda manipulation of the U.S. media as one of the reasons that “bin Laden and his allies are absolutely convinced they can succeed in forcing America to retreat and causing our economic collapse. They believe our nation is weak and decadent, and lacking in patience and resolve. And they’re wrong.”

As Bush defines domestic criticism of his war’s costs “in finances and casualties” as part of a terrorist scheme, it’s not hard to imagine how Bush’s devoted followers will react. Any expression of concern that Bush is charting a course toward mad destruction will be attacked as somehow acting in concert with terrorists.

Though Bush has said that his goal in waging his vague and seemingly endless “war on terror” is to defend freedom, the reality behind Bush’s grim vision is the emergence of an American totalitarianism where objectionable thought will be repressed and dissent will be equated with treason.

The President has now made clear that he wants the Nov. 7 congressional elections to be a referendum on whether Americans will follow him into this dark future.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It’s also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth.’

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By Fadel Abdallah, September 7, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kindly read the following with an open mind and pay attention to the statistics provided by this sober piece! Learn how evil occupation is the source of all evils and terrorism! 
================================================
Nationalism, not Islam, motivates most suicide terrorists
Posted: 06 Sep 2006 05:00 PM CDT

By Gary Olson

Here is today’s discussion question: Suicide terrorism is primarily caused by Islamic fundamentalism. True or false? Although it seems counter-intuitive, especially given everything we read and hear in the mainstream media, the correct answer is ‘’false.’’

In his recent book, ‘’DYING TO WIN: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,’’ University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape has provided an indispensable public service by collecting data from all 315 suicide terrorist campaigns from 1980 to 2003, involving 462 individuals. His overall finding: The major objective of 95 percent of suicide attacks is to expel foreign military forces from territory that the terrorists perceive as their homeland. There is little connection with Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world religions. The taproot of suicide terrorism is nationalism and it’s ‘’mainly a response to foreign occupation.’’ The objective is political self-determination. The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a secular, clearly anti-religious movement, have committed 76 of the 315 suicide attacks, the most of any group. Their specific goal was an independent homeland in Sri Lanka.

Pape, who has also taught at the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Airpower Studies, convincingly demonstrates that ‘’suicide terrorist groups are neither primarily criminal groups dedicated to enriching their top leaders, nor religious cults isolated from the rest of their society. Rather, suicide terrorist organizations often command broad social support within the national communities from which they recruit, because they are seen as pursuing legitimate nationalist goals.’’ Absent these goals, suicide terrorism rarely occurs.

Only 6 percent of the perpetrators have come from the five countries with the world’s largest Islamic fundamentalist populations. (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran and Nigeria). He notes, ‘’Prior to America’s invasion in March 2003, Iraq had never experienced a suicide bombing in its history.’’ Further, Pape’s demographic profiles of individual suicide terrorists reveals they are not uneducated, poor, mentally unstable, lacking in prospects, or young men expecting to spend paradise in the company of 72 virgins. Almost exactly the opposite is true. The data indicates they have higher incomes, intelligence and education, are deeply integrated into their communities, are highly politically conscious and from widely varied religious backgrounds. A significant minority are female.

Obviously, killing innocents is a morally repugnant act, but the evidence also strongly suggests that these individuals are motivated by a deep sense of duty and view their actions as a sacrifice for a nation’s common good, its culture and community goals. Reprehensible, of course. But not caused by religious fervor. Although suicide attacks account for only 3 percent of terrorist incidents, they account for 48 percent of all fatalities. Clearly it’s the most deadly manifestation of terrorism and there is every reason to suspect it will increase. It works.

Placing tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the Arabian Peninsula between 1990 and 2001 was the pivotal factor accounting for the Sept. 11 attacks. Pape concludes that given the high correlation between foreign military occupation and suicide terrorist movements, the continued and hated presence of American troops in the region will greatly facilitate terrorist organizers in recruiting fresh volunteers.

My own take is that here we get to the nub of the matter. U.S. military might is concentrated in this region for one reason: He who controls the world’s energy resources, especially scarce oil resources, controls the world. He also becomes fabulously wealthy. Permanent military bases in Iraq are crucial to realizing their ends. How much easier, and necessary, for U.S. planners to deceive our citizens that Iraq and all the rest is about a ‘’war on terrorism’’ related to Islamic fundementalism than to reveal the truth about their motives. They’re well aware that an enlightened American public would refuse to give our nation’s blessing, blood, and treasure to such a nefarious enterprise.

The so-called ‘’war on terror’’ is fatally flawed because its planners are incapable of addressing the real political goals of those employing terrorism. They can’t afford to do so. Precious little time remains to reverse a U.S. course of action that virtually guarantees a significant uptick in deadly attacks on Americans, both here and abroad.

Gary Olson, Ph.D., is chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian College in Bethlehem. His e-mail address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Source: http://www.mcall.com/…

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By salman, September 7, 2006 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment
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Why is anti-semitism on the rise throughout the world? Could this be one of the reasons?

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1372026.ece

How long will the U.S. bankroll this barbarity on a defenceless people?
Where are all the good Americans of conscience?

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By Robert, September 7, 2006 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
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As I was reading the comments on this sight, I have noticed that UN resolutions pertaining to Israel were mentioned several times.

UN resolutions 242 & 338 which calls on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories post the 1967/1973 conflicts.The United States supported & voted for UN resolutions 242 & 338.

This US administration sent its military men & women to war against Iraq because Iraq did not abide by UN resolutions.In the meantime, Israel does not have to worry or do anything. What double standards !! AIPAC the most powerful lobby in the US will take care of Israel with no difficulties at all.It has total control of US foreign policies for the Middle-East,US administration & congress. 

Israel continues to confiscate more occupied land despite the above UN resolutions. It annexed East Jerusalem and expanded Jerusalem’s boundaries deep into the West Bank. It annexed the Golan Heights,the Jordan valley & continues to build & expand new settlements all over the occupied West Bank & what is left of it.

Israel has total control of all the water resources.Israeli settler in the occupied territories enjoy the unrestricted flow of water to their dwellings,gardens & swiming pools while the Palestinians in their own land suffer from water shortages & high water costs.

Israeli settlements/settlers in the occupied territories are under civilian/municipality laws while the christians & moslem Palestinians who are next to the Israeli settlements are under military laws. How about them apples…eh!!!

Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied land are everywhere.The israeli army controls all roads,highways leading and form Palestinian villages ,towns and cities.Palestinians (christians & moslem) must go through these checkpoints to get to their homes,families,schools,hospitals. The process is time consuming and usually takes several hours. Palestinians are subjected to most humiliating & most difficult conditions by the Israeli army.The sick can,t even get to hospital in a timely manner.Many sick palestinians died as a result of the restrictions at these checkpoints.

Jewish Israeli settlers don’t have to go through these checkpoints and if they do,they are allowed to pass with no problem due to the different color car tags.These settlers can get home within a few minutes. The Palestians are usually still out there under the intense heat of the day.

Israel relies on its jewish organizations that are all over the United States to keep the American people shielded from seeing & hearing any negative news or pictures that may be harmful to Israel’s status.

I doubt if many Americans are aware that Israel has committed acts of terrorism against the United States.The Lavon Affair & the attack on the USS Liberty ship.During the Israeli Arab war,the American intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked for about 1.5 hours in international waters by Israeli aircraft & motor torpedo boats.
Thirty-four(34) American men died and 174 were wounded. To this date, no formal investigation was initiated or conducted regarding this horrific attack.Everything has been swept under the rug. No one dares to bring up the subject.

The website http://www.ussliberty.org is for the 34 young men who gave their lives on that date.

Israel also spies on the US, such as, in the Jonathan Pollard affair and then Israel sold the information to the Russians.Israel’s spying caused the death of many American operatives in Europe.

This current US administration now has us in this awful & terrible war in Iraq that is draining America dry for Israel’s stragic objectives.This administration’s staff & foreign policy team (Cheyney,Paul Wolfowitz,David Wurmser,Richard Perle, Douglas Feith,Eliot Abrams,Ari Fleischer,Scooter Libby,Chertoff & more…) lied about Iraq and its WMD’s. Look where we are right now.Look at all the chaos,destruction,thousands of civilian deaths, US military deaths & severe injuries. The Iraq war is costing the US taxpayers about $8 billion dollars per month. So far it has cost us about $300 billion dollars & no close end in site. All for the lies regarding “WMD”.Yes lies for “WMD”!!!

In the meantime,we the American people have to foot the bills for Israel in peace & conflict.Our hard earned money needs to stay in America for our interests ;such as,education,health care,social security,jobs & many more.

Israel has been conducting a massive war of deception on the American people.When is this welfare state going to take care of its own debts?

Occupation is humiliation,degrading,ethnic cleansing.

Deception is a political way of life for Israel.They surely have a lot of Americans fooled.

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By el mic, September 7, 2006 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
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Dear,Friend  
   
With the information obtained about your personal data, I cash-in with the hope of a mutual relationship with you in the near future. My Name is Dr. ELVIS MICHAEL am the Personal Assistants to First Lady Late Chief & Mrs. Stella Obasanjo,wife of the president of Nigeria who die on saturday 22nd of OCT 2005 last year.

We have unanimously resolved to confide in you for the claiming of the total sum valued $24,000,000 (twenty four million US Dollars) from the central bank of Nigeria But before her death she have final transfer this funds to Security company In Accra Ghana. where it will be for a safe keeping before the time for investment and to avoid any trace because of the Anti-Corruption Task Force and EFCC set up in Nigeria

This found was accrued to us through the Federal Government of Nigeria (F.G.N) as a ressuit of over invoiced contract in this sector and which is unaccounted for and there has been no trace of said surplus fund. i know all this because i am her personal assistant and due to her untimely death I have concluded arrangment in the guise that the fund belongs to a foreign sub-contractor from your country,as a turn-up contract from the development of the RAW MATERIAL RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL(RMRDC) contracts.

As soon as you declare your capability and acceptance to claim said fund from Africa Accra Ghana. We shall process the payment in your name to enable you receive it in cash of which the country and every other useful information will be disclosed to you in due come. please we like to have your phone/fax number and full address. We shall discuss percentages of interest as soon as we hear from you.

pls send your mail at my private Email :- .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and be guilded accordingly. Cordier

Regards,
Dr ELVIS MICHAEL

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By salman, September 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
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I wish Barry would stop spreading deliberate falsehood. The truth is:

“Israel is a theocracy, which actively discriminates against non-Jewish persons. Ninety-three percent of Israel is off limits to resident Christians and Muslims. They cannot own homes or businesses, work in stores, attend schools or even travel through Jewish only zones.”

“It is my considered opinion that the State of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term. In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried out today mainly in cooperation with the institutions of the Zionist movement.”

The Late Professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor
and Chairman of Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights

A Canadian Jew’s views on the treatment of Arabs in Israel: http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2006/08/16/622/

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By Barry, September 7, 2006 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
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Re Comment #22288 by Kwagmyre:

Fine, so you think Arafat should have asked Barak for more.  Legitimate.  But Arafat didn’t do that.  He bombed busses instead.

Again, I have no debate with the inevitability of a Palestinian state, and Israel will do anything for peace.  But bombing busses is not the way to state the need for free transport between two locations.  Just like killing 5000 WTC workers is not the way to express unhappiness at US policies.  Arab terror must stop, then there can be peace.

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By Kwagmyre, September 7, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Barry:

“Clinton set the fateful decision-making in motion Saturday at the White House, handing Palestinian and Israeli negotiators a set of suggestions that included the promise of Palestinian sovereignty over 95 percent of the West Bank and—for the first time—Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the Noble Sanctuary revered by Muslims around the world. The Noble Sanctuary is the site of the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.”

But as has already been pointed out at least twice(me being one of them), this is patently absurd because Israel was ALREADY REQUIRED via Resolution #242 to cede back the confiscated territory from the ‘67 War.  Morever, this “generous” concession made by Barak didn’t grant the Palestinians the right of unlimited free travel between the West Bank and Gaza.  It’s like saying, “OK guys we grant you the hotel but we keep the lobby.”

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By Geronimo, September 7, 2006 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
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The favorite trick of colonizers is to pick out a frame from the “full reel” of one or another of their conquests and then say, “See right here, these Indians {or “these Bantus”, or “these Vietnamese” or “these Palestinians”} - They’re the bad guys doing the dastardly deeds, not us.”

That way colonizers think that they won’t have to faee up to questions such as “Hey, wait a second here, won’t you please play that reel from its start to where it’s at right now?”

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By Barry, September 7, 2006 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
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It’s baloney that Arabs are second class citizens in Israel.  Like Jews, there are Arabs with more money and Arabs with less money.  Arabs with more money live as well as any Jews do.  Arabs with less money live no worse than poor Jews.

Also, there are not laws that apply differently to Jews and to Arabs.  The laws may be messed up in many ways, but they’re applied to all citizens.

Arabs have democratic representation on the knesset, elected purely democratically (not designated Arab representatives).

To be clear, I’m talking about Israeli Arabs that were in Israel proper since 1948.  Arabs in the Jordan-created and Egypt-created refugee camps live worse.

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By Justice4all, September 7, 2006 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
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Comment #22166

“My Jewish parents were forced to leave Iraq in 1950’s. Where was ever their right of return? Should they return they will not survive. Christians also can no longer survive in a country where Sunni and Shia sects are killing each other with suicide bombers.”

Christians as well as other faiths and denominations in Iraq can not survive because of the blatant occupation and the failed policies of this administration. Did you ever hear of any sectarian conflict in Iraq before the invasion?.

Christians in Palestine as well as the rest of Palestinian population cannot survive because of the damaging effect of the Israeli occupation and the total economic blockade of the West Bank and Gaza.

The American and Israeli governments are stealing all the resources of Iraq including but not limited to its oil, water and priceless artifacts and they are making up for your claimed ROR.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 7, 2006 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #22166 by Safari on 9/06

Safari, your Jewish parents should not wish to return to Iraq today. There are Palestinians who do wish to return to the homes they were forced out of in Palestine, now called Israel. Some Jews are still in Iraq, but not many. They are trying to hold the ancestral home of Abraham’s tribe. Prior to the formation of the state of Israel many Jews lived and prospered in Muslim lands. There is still a sizable community of Jews in Egypt where they have dwelt for thousands of years. The Jews who left Arab lands and went to Israel have not done very well in the land of the Ashkenazi who consider them 2nd class citizens of Israel—more Arab than Jew.

I take this opportunity to correct a perception and statement made in an earlier post to these comments that Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Israel are second class citizens. They are not, they are third class and fourth class citizens. Israeli oriental and black Jews are second class. That is a rank above the Christians and two ranks above the Muslim citizens of Israel.

More to the point of this forum, why would a ‘democracy’ sink to a level lower than a dictatorship or another religious supremacist regime? Instead of setting the standard of justification as the lowest, why not the highest? Israel should be on top of the standard of decency, not at the bottom with the dregs of Arab kingdoms and dictatorship. Why not be against all theocracies of whatever brand, rather than to justify Israel because there are worse regimes.

America has a constitution that specifies equality before the law, though not all Americans understand that. It is required to keep ignorant, bigoted, and arrogant Americans in their place and to protect minorities from abuse by the majority. That is precisely the problem in Israel where the majority abuses the minority with impunity and with a ‘legal’ instrument of justification of racism.

BTW, there are still Christians in Iraq and they are probably safer than Sunni Muslims or Shia Muslims. So are the Jews of Ur.

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By Come off it, September 7, 2006 at 4:47 am Link to this comment
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Safari says: “My Jewish parents were forced to leave Iraq in 1950’s. Where was ever their right of return? Should they return they will not survive. Christians also can no longer survive in a country where Sunni and Shia sects are killing each other with suicide bombers.”

(1) Christians had no problem living in Iraq until WE made it unsafe for them with the chaos unleashed by our invasion.

(2) Historically, Jews have lived in peace in Iraq. But if after 1948, anger at Israel caused antipathy toward Jews in nearby countries, well then, that kind of punches a hole in the idea that the existence of Isarel makes Jews safer, doesn’t it?

Yes: far from being a “refuge” for Jews everywhere, the existence of the obnoxious state of Israel, self-appointed representative of all Jews, exposes Jews everywhere to charges of disloyalty to the countries of which they are actually citizens.

Catholics would still have this problem if the Vatican were still an aggressive state power with a large army, bullying and attacking people and manipulating governments.

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By Barry, September 7, 2006 at 3:11 am Link to this comment
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Any idea of “bringing peace” by getting rid of Israel, a UN member country created by the British Mandate, League of Nations, and UN, a country recognized like any other (and flawed like any other), is a non-starter.  Israel is a country here to stay.

Regarding claims that Israel didn’t offer anything reasonable or viable, here’s this from the San Francisco Chronicle (hardly rabidly Zionist):

December 28:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2000/12/28/MN117259.DTL
Mideast Summit Canceled For Now
Conditional Israeli OK of Clinton’s proposals

(12-28) 04:00 PDT Jerusalem—Israel conditionally accepted suggestions from President Clinton as a basis for resuming stalled negotiations with the Palestinians early today
...
Palestinian officials, without saying clearly yes or no to Clinton, dispatched a letter to the White House yesterday raising their objections to what he proposed
...
Barak’s office said Israel will accept Clinton’s ideas as a basis for new talks provided that the Palestinians do, too
...
Clinton set the fateful decision-making in motion Saturday at the White House, handing Palestinian and Israeli negotiators a set of suggestions that included the promise of Palestinian sovereignty over 95 percent of the West Bank and—for the first time—Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the Noble Sanctuary revered by Muslims around the world. The Noble Sanctuary is the site of the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
...

and an Editorial on Dec 29, 2000:

NEWS ANALYSIS
Peace Deal Poses Quandary for Arafat
Palestinian leader faces opportunity—and danger

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2000/12/29/MN182915.DTL

(12-29) 04:00 PDT Washington—The Clinton administration has confronted Yasser Arafat with one of the most painful choices of his enduring career: The unknown territory of a comprehensive peace or the familiar role of victim.
...
The White House, Arab leaders and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan all have tried to steer the Palestinian Authority president toward Clinton’s package, which would deliver him sovereignty over the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and the longed-for Palestinian state.
...
If these and other important questions were dealt with by the Americans, then Arafat should move ahead, an Arab diplomat said yesterday.
“The Arab side does not want to say no,” the diplomat said. “This is a workable solution, unlike Camp David.”
...
the diplomat said, Arafat still had a concrete victory to sell. “He needs to go out and say: ‘I brought you back Jerusalem with full sovereignty, something you never dreamed of,’ ” the diplomat said.
...

and then hours later…

Mideast Peace Hopes Rocked by Bombs
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2000/12/29/MN131342.DTL

(12-29) 04:00 PDT Jerusalem—Only hours after an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit was abruptly canceled, a bomb exploded on a bus in downtown Tel Aviv yesterday and a second blast in the Gaza Strip killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded two others
...
Arafat and Barak had been due to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday to discuss Clinton’s plan. But with the Palestinians raising questions about the proposal in a letter to Clinton, Barak decided not to attend
...
Israel seemed surprised at the Palestinian unwillingness to accept the proposal.
...
Earlier in the week, as both leaders pondered the considerable political risks they would have to take in accepting the U.S. proposal, there was relative calm. But at midday yesterday, a bomb blew up in the back of a half- full bus as it traveled along a busy Tel Aviv thoroughfare.

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By Mikizo, September 7, 2006 at 2:33 am Link to this comment
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Frank Goodman’s ongoing tirade ignores some well known truths.
Prior to 1947 Jews were purchasing land at many times its value.
Prior to 1947 Arabs were murdering sellers of land to Jews.
Prior to 1947, Arabs were immigrating into “Palestine” and settling in the same areas the Jews were purchasing and developing.
In 1917, “Palestine” was the one of the poorest areas in the Ottoman controlled Middle East. In 1948, it was the wealthiest, mainly due to development by the influx of Jews.
In 1929 Arabs, incited by the same set of religious lies (the Jews will desecrate the Mosques - Muslim using mosques as weapons caches and firing positions is ok.. ) , went out and butchered scores of Jews, many from families living in Hebron for centuries.
In 1936, the Arabs again went on a rampage to murder the same Jews that they’d sold the land to, led by the sellers (why not take the money and keep the property). They then rejected an offer that would give them 80% of Western “Palestine” (after the British had already torn off 80% and created “Jordan”).
In 1947, the Arabs could have had a state on part of the land and responded by declaring that they will throw the Jews into the sea (following the example of Hitler’s “honorary Aryan” friend, the “Palestinian” Grand Mufty - Hajj Amin Al Husseini).
Regretably (to the Arabs), they failed.
They also failed in the 1950’s when they sent Fedayyun to murder children in bed. Yes, Israel responded in kind, and the horror “kept to peace” for a decade, until the PLO was founded in 1964 (ooops, several years before the West Bank and Gaza were “occupied”).
They also failed in 1967 when Nasser declared that he too, would drive Israel into the sea. Jordan’s Hussein made the mistake of believing him and Syria made the mistake of opening fire on Northern Israel.
Frank speaks of “justice” and then talks about “Palestinians” living on the land for over 2000 years.
Considering the number of people living on the land a century ago (several hundred thousand), their multicultural background (the Ottomans had to forcibly move people in to maintain the “sliver of land”, the local population being so small), the entire concept of a “Palestinian People” is a result of the ongoing conflict (prior to 1947, the only “Palestinians” were the Jews, the Arabs were called “Arabs”) between Arabs and Jews. 
I think any “Palestinian” carrying the name Al-Masri, Al-Turki, Al-Migrabi, Halebi etc. is an excellent reminder of the true facts.
Add that to the fact the families reside all over the middle east and the identical cultural and religious background and one can easily see that “justice” is not the issue.
Rights are not the issue.
Land is not the issue.
The only issue is whether Arabs accept another nation rebuilding its homeland on territory that they historically conquered. Since it appears they don’t, once they’re done with Israel, they’ll head to Spain, France, Bosnia etc.

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By salman, September 7, 2006 at 1:26 am Link to this comment
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Safari when all of Europe was collaborating in transporting Jews to the death camps; the only person who saved the Jews from a similar fate was the Moroccon King. Naturally with the creation of Israel, tensions grew among Jews and Muslims.

“Morocco was a French protectorate at the time of the war, and Mohammed V rejected orders set out by France’s collaborationist Vichy government as early as 1940. He refused to make the 200,000 Jews then living in Morocco wear yellow stars, as they did in France.

“There are no Jews in Morocco. There are only subjects,” the king is reported to have said.

Serge Berdugo, the head of the Council of Israelite Communities of Morocco, said that in a special show of defiance, King Mohammed V in 1941 invited all the rabbis of Morocco to the traditional throne ceremony, a major event held each year by the royal palace.”

Going back in time, we also know that it was the Ottoman Sultan who welcomed the Jews who had escaped the Spanish Inquisition.
Have the decency to acknowledge the good.

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By Kwagmyre, September 6, 2006 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Barry…..

“Either you support two states side by side, as Israel has proposed many times, or you support terror.”

Gee, where have we heard something virtually identical to this?........

As I recall it was the Manichean declaration of one, George W. Bush, right after the 9/11 attacks.  Didn’t seem like there was any room for ambiguity or “grey” thinking with such a dire choice thrust upon us all.

Got us into a real “Kwagmyre” as it was bound to at some point(Iraq).  And more unwavering, unquestioning support for Israel will only do more of the same.

Get real and appreciate your “grey” matter!

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By Spinoza, September 6, 2006 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment
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GO TO A WORLD CAN’T WAIT MEETING TODAY


http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php

Try to stop world war three.

Here are two frightening and mostly accurate pessimistic analyses


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14860.htm


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14862.htm

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By Safari, September 6, 2006 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
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My Jewish parents were forced to leave Iraq in 1950’s. Where was ever their right of return? Should they return they will not survive. Christians also can no longer survive in a country where Sunni and Shia sects are killing each other with suicide bombers.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 6, 2006 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #22102 by Barry on 9/06

You are the ignorant one. You ignore the obvious truth. Israel stole the land of the Palestinians and expect that they would not fight to regain their stolen properties. I do not support two separate states ‘side by side’ or one on top of the other. I support one state with freedom and justice for all. You, sir, are a liar when you say that I am a terrorist if I do not support your version of a two state solution. However, I will assume that you are not a liar, but just do not know any better.

It is also a lie that Israel proposed a workable plan. Hamas is on record as rejecting the theft of the land, not in support of terrorism. However, Hamas has in the past returned violence for violence. Israel is far more violent than Hamas could ever be. Hamas has no helicopters, no tanks, no armored personnel carriers, no artillery, no cluster bombs, no Caterpillar bulldozers, no unpiloted drone observation planes, no nuclear weapons, no nation of 250,000,000 tax payers to fund its defense effort, no vote in the United Nations, no propaganda organization of the clout of AIPAC, no American congressmen on its payroll, no American Senators on its payroll, no American President to kiss its ass, and no Brit Poodle Dog to piss on its enemies.

The only thing Hamas has on its side is truth and the right of its people. That has often been a winning combination. Many such wars have been won by the people with the fewest and weakest weapons. American independence was won in just such a match. Viet Nam defeated the French and the Americans in separate wars. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are by no means won by the most powerful army on earth. In fact we are about to see a reversal of previously claimed victories.

No, Barry, it is not true that if you do not support Israel and the United States and their lies that you are a terrorist. The terror is perpetrated by Israel and paid for by the American tax payer. There is a far higher purpose than to guarantee the state of Israel in this world. Yet, if Israel would somehow, give up its holier than thou attitude and rejoin the human race history would record a far better outcome.

I have time and again restated that I do not support nor agree with terror on either side. I support and will root for justice and peace, in that order. There must be justice first and peace will come of its own accord. Peace at the end of a gun and behind an apartheid wall enforced by helicopter gun ships is neither peace nor justice.

It seems that the likes of you are in the minority in this site, also in the world. The people of the world would have settled this long ago if given the chance. Unfortunately the big bully on the block has the means to terrorize the financial markets and the commerce of the world in support of that tiny sliver of tyranny.

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By Robert, September 6, 2006 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like to thank Chris Hedges on his article “Israel’s Barrier To Peace”. If Chris Hedges were still the Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, his article & all its factual details would not have been available for all us to read.The bosses at New York Times would have never allowed him to write such an article. It would have been a career suicide for Chris Hedges.

The Jewish(AIPAC)/Israeli lobby & US mainstream media in the US are always ready to retaliate against any American for criticizing Israel’s policy & brutal punishment of the Palestinian people.

We the American people keep hearing that Israel is a democratic country, just like the United States. The truth is that Israel is a democracy only for the Jews. Its not a democracy for its 3rd & 4th class Christian & Moslem citizens.Israel is a theocratic state.

The daily severe punishment,suffering,attacks,assasinations,atrocities & economic strangulatution of the (Christian & Moslem) Palestinian people by the Israeli government & its brutal Army is deliberately concealed from the American & Western telivisions & public eye.

Israel cannot survive without our American taxpayer’s aid, which is roughly $3-5 billion dollars anually.The total (1948-2006) direct aid to Israel is estimated at $108 billion dollars. This aid has been guaranteed & usually no questions asked. What a Status!!!

Israel has no respect for international law,United Nation resolutions & Geneva conventions. Its only afraid of the American people. Its not afraid of the US administration & congress. The Jewish/Israeli lobby controls both areas. What a sad state of affairs.

Israel & its jewish lobby have been using Hollywood,high profile actors,ministers/preachers,retired US generals,former presidents ,building holocaust museums and mainstream news media to promote their goals of winning the support & hearts of the American people.They want US aid to cotinue no matter what the costs are to the American taxpayers.

There will never be peace in that region so long as Israel continues with its current brutal policies & the steady takeover of Palestinian land.

The majority of American people don’t know that Israel has the largest stockpiles of nuclear,chemical & biological weapons in that region. We never hear about that from our elected public officials & mainstream news media. No one dares to speak out on the subject. If you have a chance you can watch & search http://www.linktv.com “Israel’s Secret Weapon”. Please do so.

I’ll close for now with a quote from Edmund Burke (1729-1797):
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

“The world is a dangerous place.Not because of the poeple who are evil,but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

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By Barry, September 6, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
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Frank, you’re ignoring the obvious truth: The UN ratified Israel because it assumed that the Palestinians would build a state right next door, per the partition plan, and all would be happy.  Two peoples, two states.  Israel said yes, Arabs said no.

Israel has proposed fully workable solutions, including addressing the connection between West Bank and Gaza, and still Arafat said no.  Hamas is still on record that it will not give up terror to negotiate peace.

Either you support two states side by side, as Israel has proposed many times, or you support terror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

With Sep 11 coming, we must be able to agree that terror must be disavowed and negotiation pursued without terror.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 6, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #21993 by Barry on 9/06

Go to the real cause. The real cause is the taking of land that belongs to Palestinians and the theft ratified by the United Nations against the spirit of the very Charter that gave it life. Of course the United Nations was controlled at the time by a few victors of WWII who took the opportunity to create a place of refuge for the Jews from Europe. It did not succeed in what was intended. Jews are still in Europe, America, and the rest of the world.

Palestine will never give up their homeland. It was stolen and no power on Earth will change that. Many Jews and Palestinians will die before this is resolved unless Zionists give up their idea of a Promised Land for Jews alone. It is not for Palestine to lie down and die, but for Israel to wake up and live.

Of course Palestinians cheered when a symbol of Jewish greed collapsed. The Muslim and Christian terrorists are in response to the terrorism of Jews who stole their land. There will be more terrorism in the form of individual Palestinian reactions and Israeli Army terrorism in response against the individuals by collective punishment of all Palestinians which generates more individual response of terror. Stop it! Israel is the transgressor against commandments of God. Israel is the aggressor against the Palestinians who were on this sliver of land for well over 2000 years. Jews, if you wish to live on this land, do so in peace. The offer from Palestinians is of peace with equal rights. You are not the masters of even your own destiny, let alone of the destiny of the world. But, you could be masters of decency and honor in the world you inherit. Does your religion condone the stealing of land and the killing of innocent people? Does your religion condone coveting your neighbor’s property? Does your religion condone destruction of olive groves and fruit orchards? Does your religion condone violation of human rights? Does your religion condone the wanton killing in response to imagined offense? Islam and Christianity do not condone those things.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 6, 2006 at 6:04 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #21940 by The Realist on 9/05

Apples and oranges! First CA means at that date or near and for all practical purposes CA 1948 includes 1947-1949 or even a broader inclusion. The key is the facts involved. Obfuscation never presented a solution to any problem. Only simplification of the problem to the facts involved can bring peace to Jews and Arabs in this matter. The need is for cooperation in the matter of peaceful existence of people who hold different views and have different purposes. The Palestinian position is to come to a workable solution, not to maintain the status quo which is unacceptable to both sides.

Israel is laying the eggs of another Holocaust if it does not recognize and honor the rights of Palestinians to live and to return to the place of their birth and the ancestral lands confiscated by the State of Israel in 1948 and 1967. This not a threat by me, but by historic lessons of the past. There is a reason that Jews were discriminated against in the past. Though that is no excuse for the excesses of the Holocaust and would not be justification of any such excesses in any future Holocaust, the nature of man and his abode on this planet is that aggressive action takes place when any nation rises to a position that emboldens it to take action to redress aggrieviences real or imagined.

The arrogance of Zionist politics is corrosive of human rights and democracy. In the past it was the arrogance of Jews who claimed a God given status as God’s Chosen People and the arrogance of Christians who were saved by Jesus. In Europe, Jews did not and could not live by the standards of the dominant Christian majorities. The belief propagated by popular error and assumption that Jews were murderers of Jesus led to untold misery for both Christians and Jews. Habits of Jews to isolate themselves from the mainstream of public expression and commerce and to indulge in financial exploitation of Christians led to a popular support or tolerance of the Holocaust by Hitler.

Observance of ordinary policies of equality and honoring of human rights to dignity and self advancement would prevent the forces of hate to build to the level that would support another Holocaust. Jews say, “Never again!” yet the suppression of human rights and democracy of Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, and Christians, ensures that there will be another Holocaust. Human rights cannot be suppressed without dire consequences in the world political arena. It happens time and again in history. Over all recorded history regimes have arisen that suppress the people and impose restrictions and conditions that inspire hate and cause the victims to vow revenge. When the pressure builds to a critical level the world explodes into another nakba (disaster). In 1933-1945 period it was a nakba for Jews. Beginning at the opening of the 20th century the pressure began to build by the Zionist movement to displace the Palestinian people from their lands. We have not seen the explosion yet, but be assured that it is coming. The population of the Arab world is greater than the population of the Jewish world. The minority of ‘God’s Chosen People’ in this world cannot impose their will upon the vast majority of ‘God’s other Chosen People’.

Join me in the quest for a workable solution that includes abandoning the claim of special rights for Jews against the rights of Arabs. My solution also includes abandoning the claim of special rights of Muslims against the rights of others.

Get with the program and stop supporting equivocation of the matter of equality of rights and human cooperation in common cause. Zionist Jews are building the pressure for another world conflict the likes of which would put Armageddon down to the level of a street fight of juvenile gangs. A nuclear Holocaust would incinerate more people than Hitler could have processed in a hundred years at the rate of his machine. End the Zionist oppression and remove the excuse for nuclear effort to equalize forces of evil against forces of evil. In such an equalization mankind will inherit his own demise and become extinct on this planet and in the universe.

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By Barry, September 6, 2006 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
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Come on, stop wining, noone buys it anymore.

“Oh, poor Palestinians, Israel only offered them 95% of the West Bank, it was so insulting, they had to destroy the World Trade Center in response!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

“Oh, poor Palestinians, Jordan controled the West Bank for 19 years and they didn’t make a Palestinian state, it’s all Israel’s fault, they have to wear suicide belts into coffee shops!”

It’s simple.  Either agree that the Palestinains should give up terror and accept peace, or you’re on the side of terrorists.  Support Hezbollah, you’re supporting the people who cheered when the Twin Towers fell. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

Disagree with Israel?  Fine!  But the answer has to be to support peaceful living side by side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

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By Kwagmyre, September 5, 2006 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #21934 by Frank Goodman:

“And BTW, since United Nations, CA 1948 gave Israel a vote of confidence, why can’t Israel live up to the UN standards and abide by the Charter and the resolutions?”

I think I raised the same issue myself many posts ago and it has yet to be answered.  But truthfully speaking, it can’t be answered because by behaving as such, Israel pursues its own agenda “come hell or high water”, thumbing its nose and at anyone not in accord with that agenda. 

Rather like biting the hand that first fed it.

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By The Realist, September 5, 2006 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment
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Oops, the UN voting took place in Nov. 29, 1947.

Now, what else? All that Mel Gibsonian “reasoning”, all those crocodile tears. Is it worth my time?

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 5, 2006 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #21890 by The Realist on 9/05

That makes only 56 nations of the world. What about the rest? Actually most of the 33 who did recognize Israel were either European who were glad to get rid of Jews from their own states, or were puppets of the victors of WWII. Now get the rest of the story. And BTW, since United Nations, CA 1948 gave Israel a vote of confidence, why can’t Israel live up to the UN standards and abide by the Charter and the resolutions?

I recommend that you change your Keyboard name to Unrealistic.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 5, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
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Re:Comment #21910 by Spinoza on 9/05

There is no measure for stupidity of that level. It is beyond anything human. A bunch of thugs from Europe come to Palestine and run amok over villages and farms. They are armed to the teeth, while the Palestinians were effectively disarmed, first by the Turks, then by the Brits. The Palestinians fled their homes intending to return when it would be safe to do so. The Zionist thugs continue the rampage and finally declare the state of Israel and the thugs form an Israeli army and continue to harass the Palestinians. Several Arab states attempt to come to the aid of their brother Arabs, but are routed by the superior fire power of the criminals with guns, tanks and air planes.

Jews had a chance to purchase land in Palestine and to live in peace as equals with Arabs as many Jews had for the past 2000 years. The Arabs proposed a secular state with equal rights for all. Jews opposed such an arrangement because they have a ghetto mentality. That is, they believe themselves to be better than their neighbors and God’s favorite kids. So Jews do not wish to live by fair laws and principles. They would rather fight for a ghetto than to live in peace next door to a Muslim or Christian.

All who agree say Aye. Opposed nay.

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By Justice4all, September 5, 2006 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
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Hypocricy and arrogance are also boundless on this forum. In addition to UN resolutions 242 and 338 which call upon Israel to withdraw from territories they have occupied (1967 and 1973), below is a list of other UN resolutions that Israel either totally trashed or is yet to implement and the world community is watching. Talking about hyporicy and double standards!!

1955-1992:

* Resolution 106: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”.
* Resolution 111: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”.
* Resolution 127: ” . . . ‘recommends’ Israel suspends it’s ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”.
* Resolution 162: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”.
* Resolution 171: ” . . . determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”.
* Resolution 228: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”.
* Resolution 237: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”.
* Resolution 248: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”.
* Resolution 250: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”.
* Resolution 251: ” . . . ‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”.
* Resolution 252: ” . . . ‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”.
* Resolution 256: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”.
* Resolution 259: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”.
* Resolution 262: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”.
* Resolution 265: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan”.
* Resolution 267: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”.
*Resolution 270: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”.
* Resolution 271: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”.
* Resolution 279: ” . . . ‘demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”.
* Resolution 280: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”.
* Resolution 285: ” . . . ‘demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”.
* Resolution 298: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”.
* Resolution 313: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”.
* Resolution 316: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”.
* Resolution 317: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”.
* Resolution 332: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”.
* Resolution 337: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”.
* Resolution 347: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”.
* Resolution 425: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”.
* Resolution 427: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.
* Resolution 444: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”.
* Resolution 446: ” . . . ‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious
obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
* Resolution 450: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”.
* Resolution 452: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”.
* Resolution 465: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member
states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”.
* Resolution 467: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”.
* Resolution 468: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of
two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”.
* Resolution 469: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the
council’s order not to deport Palestinians”.
* Resolution 471: ” . . . ‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide
by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
* Resolution 476: ” . . . ‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem are ‘null and void’”.
* Resolution 478: ” . . . ‘censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its
claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law’”.
* Resolution 484: ” . . . ‘declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported
Palestinian mayors”.
* Resolution 487: ” . . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s
nuclear facility”.
* Resolution 497: ” . . . ‘decides’ that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan
Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith”.
* Resolution 498: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”.
* Resolution 501: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”.
* Resolution 509: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”.
* Resolution 515: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and
allow food supplies to be brought in”.
* Resolution 517: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions
and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”.
* Resolution 518: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”.
* Resolution 520: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”.
* Resolution 573: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia
in attack on PLO headquarters.
* Resolution 587: ” . . . ‘takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw
its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”.
* Resolution 592: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students
at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”.
* Resolution 605: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices
denying the human rights of Palestinians.
* Resolution 607: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly
requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
* Resolution 608: ” . . . ‘deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”.
* Resolution 636: ” . . . ‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
* Resolution 641: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 672: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for violence against Palestinians
at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
* Resolution 673: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United
Nations.
* Resolution 681: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of
Palestinians.
* Resolution 694: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and
calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
* Resolution 726: ” . . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 799: “. . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians
and calls for their immediate return

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By Aghast, September 5, 2006 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding Comment #21910 by Spinoza on 9/05 at 5:16 pm

(Me: >> “How stupid do you think we are?”

Spinoza:“Stupidity and dishonesty seem boundless”.>>)


You know what, Spinoza? I have concluded that in early twenty-first century America, there is only one historical social model that might come close to approximating the experience of facing up to the Big Lie of the Israel lobby: coming out of the closet as a homosexual, maybe circa 1955.

Because when you announce views that contradict the AIPAC/neocon/major-media story line, you become not just hated and despised, but INCONCEIVABLE.

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By salman, September 5, 2006 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
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Yet more evidence:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14826.htm

Maybe these ex-IDF soldiers should come and speak to the U.S. Congress.

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By Spinoza, September 5, 2006 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
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> How stupid do you think we are?

Stupidity and dishonesty seem boundless.

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By Against Israel Until It Has A Complete Brain Trans, September 5, 2006 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“What would Arabs/Palestinians do if faced with similar violence against them?”

They ARE faced with violence, lots of it, from Israel — as bad as what you’re talking about and plenty worse. How stupid do you think we are?

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By The Realist, September 5, 2006 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
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With reference to comment 21752 by Good Man:

Quote: “It was reject by far more nations of the world than the number that recognized it.”

Oh yeah? Whence have you gathered such a heap of lies?

On the other hand I’m not at all surprised. Distortion of truth here is the norm. If you can’t refute something, go on, tell ‘em lies!

So, for your information, the votes for the recognition of Israel at the UN in May 1948, were as following:

Pro:    33 countries.
Against:  13   “
Abstained: 10   “

Even if you add those which abstained to those against, the pro majority was overwhelming.

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By Confused, September 5, 2006 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
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I have honest questions that I someone has the answer to:

What should the Israelis do?

What would Arabs/Palestinians do if faced with similar violence against them? 

If a state-sponsored rogue group regularly abducts your people, launches attacks and then hides among a group of people who claim to be victims of your brutality?

It appears to me that the Israelis are clearly at their wits’ end and are trying anything they can to stop the violence. Meanwhile, Arabs say things like, “we will attack until they give up and go home” and those statements are not condemned in the thinly veiled Arab world.  There are a lot of intelligent opinions here but few realistic answers.  The population must stop hiding the violence lovers. They may build your hospitals but they cause your homes to be destroyed.  The Israelis have certain crossed the line on several occasions but the comment from Golda, sadly, hit the mark. 

I would love to visit Jerusalem some day.

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By Barry, September 4, 2006 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment
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Sorry Frank Goodman for the name mistake.

Yes I know all the Arab countries rejected Israel.  But besides them, the UN and the rest of the world accepted Israel.  What other countries are you saying didn’t?  Bottom line, UN recognition and recognition by the western world is the rough definition of international acceptance for any purposes.

And no, I certainly don’t think that one state for all would be good.  What on earth are you thinking?  Whatever Arafat may say, he also demanded that all Jews leave the West Bank as a condition of his statehood.  One state would have ended up yet another Iraq.  I know you’re an Americthinking line an American, but look all over the world, self-determination means self-determination, in Ireland and in former Soviet Union states and all over.

As for Israel not looking like the partition plan, the point is that Israel accepted the partition plan, then the Arabs attacked.  Like always.  But the creation of the state was by the UN and the British Mandate, fully legal, while there is no legal creation of any Palestinian state until the Palestinians decide to say yes to starting one under international law.

You know, just think what things would be like if the Jordanians had created a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 1948, instead of sticking the Palestinians into refugee camps.  Israel built towns for all the Jewish refugees from Arab counties, and look at them now, Israeli universities (and Californian companies) are full of their children and grandchildren.  The same would have been true of the Palestinians if Jordan had built a state on the West Bank instead of building trouble.

Israel is a country that’s made mistakes, but they were created by the UN and British Mandate, fully legally and properly.  Let’s get beyond that and see if someone can get the Palestinian government to say yes to stopping terror and building a country.

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By Spinoza, September 4, 2006 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment
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The situation in Gaza is horrendous and the people are in desperate straights.  What can we do?

 

GENOCIDE IN GAZA

Nothing apart from pressure in the form of sanctions, boycotts and divestment will stop the murdering of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip.

By Ilan Pappe

09/04/06 “PC”—- 09/02/04 - -A genocide is taking place in Gaza. This morning, 2 September, another three citizens of Gaza were killed and a whole family wounded in Beit Hanoun. This is the morning reap, before the end of day many more will be massacred. An average of eight Palestinian die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed.

The Israeli leadership is at lost of what to do with the Gaza Strip. It has vague ideas about the West Bank. The current government assumes that the West Bank, unlike the Strip, is an open space, at least on its eastern side. Hence if Israel, under the ingathering program of the government, annexes the parts it covets - half of the West Bank - and cleanses it of its native population, the other half would naturally lean towards Jordan, at least for a while and would not concern Israel. This is a fallacy, but nonetheless it won the enthusiastic vote of most of the Jews in the country. Such an arrangement cannot work in the Gaza enclave - Egypt unlike Jordan has succeeded in persuading the Israelis, already in 1948, that the Gaza Strip for them is a liability and will never form part of Egypt. So a million and half Palestinians are stuck inside Israel - although geographically the Strip is located on the margins of the state, psychologically it lies in its midst.

The inhuman living conditions in the most dense area in the world, and one of the poorest human spaces in the northern hemisphere, disables the people who live it to reconcile with the imprisonment Israel had imposed on them ever since 1967. There were relative better periods where movement to the West Bank and into Israel for work was allowed, but these better times are gone. Harsher realities are in place ever since 1987. Some access to the outside world was allowed as long as there were Jewish settlers in the Strip, but once they were removed the Strip was hermetically closed. Ironically, most Israelis, according to recent polls, look at Gaza as an independent Palestinian state that Israel has graciously allowed to emerge. The leadership, and particularly the army, see it as a prison with the most dangerous community of inmates, which has to be eliminated one way or another.

The conventional Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing employed successfully in 1948 against half of Palestine’s population, and against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank are not useful here. You can slowly transfer Palestinians out of the West Bank, and particular out of the Greater Jerusalem area, but you cannot do it in the Gaza Strip - once you sealed it as a maximum-security prison camp.

As with the ethnic cleansing operations, the genocidal policy is not formulated in a vacuum. Ever since 1948, the Israeli army and government needed a pretext to commence such policies. The takeover of Palestine in 1948 produced the inevitable local resistance that in turn allowed the implementation of an ethnic cleansing policy, preplanned already in the 1930s. Twenty years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank produced eventually some sort of Palestinian resistance. This belated anti-occupation struggle unleashed a new cleansing policy that still is implemented today in the West Bank. The Gaza imprisonment in the summer of 2005, which was paraded as an Israeli generous withdrawal, produced the Hamas and Islamic Jiahd missile attack and one abduction case. Even before the abduction of Giald Shalit, the Israeli army bombarded indiscriminately the Strip. Ever since the abduction, the massive killing increased and became systematic. A daily business of slaying Palestinians, mainly children is now reported in the internal pages of the local press, quite often in microscopic fonts.

The chief culprits are the Israeli pilots who have a field day now that one of them is the General Chief of Staff. In the 1982 Lebanon war, the Israeli airforce issued orders to its pilots to abort missions if within 500 square meters of their target they spotted innocent civilians. Not that these orders were kept, but the pretense for internal moral consumption was there. It is called in the Israeli airforce, the “Lebanon Procedure” [Nohal Levanon]. When the pilots asked a year ago if the “Lebanon procedure” is intact for Gaza, the answer was no. The same answer was given to the pilots in the second Lebanon war.

The Lebanon war provided the fog for a while, covering the war crimes in the Gaza Strip. But the policies rage on even after the conclusion of the cease-fire up in the north. It seems that the frustrated and defeated Israeli army is even more determined to enlarge the killing fields in the Gaza Strip. There are no politicians who are able or willing to stop the generals. A daily killing of up to 10 civilians is going to leave a few thousand dead each year. This is of course different from genociding a million people in one campaign - the only inhibition Israel is willing to undertake in the name of the Holocaust memory. But if you double the killing you raise the number to horrific proportions and more importantly you may force a mass eviction in the end of the day outside the Strip - either in the name of human aid, international intervention or the people’s own desire to escape the inferno. But if the Palestinian steadfastness is going to be the response, and there is no reason to doubt that this will be the Gazan reaction then the massive killing would continue and increase.

Much depends on the international reaction. When Israel was absolved from any responsibility or accountably for the ethnic cleansing in 1948, it turned this policy into a legitimate tool for its national security agenda. If the present escalation and adaptation of genocidal policies would be tolerated by the world, it would expand and used even more drastically.

Nothing apart from pressure in the form of sanctions, boycotts and divestment will stop the murdering of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip. There is nothing we here in Israel can do against it. Brave pilots refused to partake in the operations, two journalists - out of 150 - do not cease to write about it, but this is it. In the name of the holocaust memory let us hope the world would not allow the genocide of Gaza to continue.

Ilan Pappe is senior lecturer in the University of Haifa Department of political Science and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies in Haifa. His books include among others The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (London and New York 1992), The Israel/Palestine Question (London and New York 1999), A History of Modern Palestine (Cambridge 2003), The Modern Middle East (London and New York 2005) and forthcoming, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006)

Copyright © 2006 palestinechronicle.com

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By Justice4all, September 4, 2006 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
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Please read below.

if you are unsure where this land is coming from, take a wild guess.


w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/758516.html
Last update - 14:56 04/09/2006
Tenders issued for hundreds of homes in W. Bank settlements
By Nadav Shragai, Yoav Stern and Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondents

In the largest wave of new settlement construction activity approved by the Olmert government since it came into office, the Housing Ministry issued tenders Monday morning for the construction of 690 new housing units in the territories.

The new apartments will be built in large settlements, included in the settlement bloc plan, which the government intends to annex to Israel as part of a final agreement.

Tenders for the construction of 788 housing units across the Green Line have been issued since the beginning of the year.

The tenders issued Monday include the construction of 342 housing units in the settlement Betar Ilit and the construction of 348 housing units in Ma’aleh Adumim. The municipal territory of Betar Ilit has been expanded in the last year in a manner that brings the orthodox settlement much closer to Jerusalem.

Betar Ilit is located southwest of Jerusalem and is home to a poor Orthodox population of over 25,000. Its growth rate is one of the fastest in Israel.

Israel also seeks to connect Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem through the E1 building plan, currently on hold.

According to Peace Now, the tenders prove that the “Olmert government functions as a right-wing government in all senses; instead of evacuating outposts and freezing construction in settlements, the government is building hundreds of housing units in the territories and plans on authorizing dozens of illegal outposts.

“These actions go against Israel’s commitments in the road map and the commitment made by Labor and Kadima to the voting public.”

MK Dov Chenin (Hadash) commented that “the Olmert-Peretz government is cutting back on health and education and investing hundreds of thousands in the settelments. This will cause a social and political catastrophy.”

The Yesha Council of Jewish Settlements, for its part, said the building plans were “too little too late.”

The approval of construction in the large settlements accompanies the Ministry of Justice outpost aurthorization initiative.

According to a recent Haaretz report, the Ministry of Justice has formulated a decision proposal according to which no illegal outposts in the West Bank would be evacuated. Instead, the state would legitimize the outposts and provide them with government funding, discarding the recommendations made by Talia Sasson in her report.

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By Geronimo, September 4, 2006 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
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Such a positive sign, too, that so many Jews are waking up,  whatever the personal risks, and standing-up for the rights of the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice and the return of Palestine to them.  Why do this?  Because it’s the right thing to do, that’s why.  After all it’s the Palestinian’s homeland, having been taken from them in a late nineteenth century rendition of that infamous Manhattan in exchange for a few beads and assorted trinkets transaction.  Sure, the details have changed since way back then, but the overall game plan of the powers that be remains the same, “Take care of number one and don’t forget to kick’em when they’re down.”

What’s happening now is that that the True Jew, the genie who up to now,has been bottled up inside many if not most Jews is reasserting herself? - “Always be on the side of the slave;  never ever side with the slave master;  not even (better, especially) if the slave master is a relative, a friend or a co-religionist.”

In the knick of time, too, the reemergence of the True Jew, what with this perpetual war on terror, not to mention global warming.  What’s to follow?  We the people changing the world, that’s what.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 4, 2006 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #21555 by Barry on 9/03

Correction: Frank Goodman, not Goldman.

You need to restudy your history of the creation of the state of Israel. The present state of Israel does not resemble the partition plan that the Arabs rejected. The state of Israel prior to 1967 does not resemble the partition plan. The Arab plan was a secular state with equal rights for all, including Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Don’t you agree that such would be far better than the quagmire the world is in at this time? Yasser Arafat drafted a model constitution for Palestine that included equal rights for all citizens of whatever land becomes the state of Palestine by whatever decrees or actions of the United Nations or the nations of the world. That would have included the Jewish settlers on Arab land. I have read it, have you?

The state of Israel was declared by the Zionist terrorist gangs and was immediately recognized by the United States and Britain among others. It was reject by far more nations of the world than the number that recognized it. Creation of Isreal was never ratified by any Arab state or by the peopld of Palestine. A couple of Arab states recognize a fait accompli in the existence of the state of Israel, but the people of those nations do not recognize nor accept the legitimacy of the state of Israel. Finally, the formation of Israel was against the principles and word of the United Nations Charter.

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By Spinoza, September 4, 2006 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
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Another dissenting Jew


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14830.htm

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 4, 2006 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #21662 by The Realist on 9/04 at 3:08 am

This is the most ridiculous statement I have read from a non-Jew. Get real ‘realist’!

First off, Zionist Jews came to Palestine and bought, stole, confiscated and occupied Palestinian lands. Of course Palestinian Arabs did not agree to partition of their land to make way for a Jewish state. They offered a homeland for the Jews to live as neighbors and fellow citizens in Palestine. Jews wanted their own ghetto state so that they would not live among the other Palestinians. Neither President Truman, nor the British understood the audacity of the United Nations to believe that it could throw Palestinians off their land and give the land to the Jews from Europe. I dare say that no New Englander would agree to turn over Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine to the original American Natives, let alone an invasion from Europe. I also know that no Floridian would agree to giving south Florida to Cubans as a separate state for Hispanics. And no Brit would dream of giving Wales to a band of European thugs for a state.

I know far more Palestinians and other Arabs than you probably have ever seen. None of them mistreat their children. Their children in Palestine are targeted by Israeli soldier terrorists daily. Many are killed both by direct gunfire and by crossfire when Palestinian defenders, called militants in the western press, engage the Jew thugs who rampage through the West Bank Palestine, tearing down homes, shooting up neighborhoods, and bulldozing olive trees and automobiles. What the hell do you think this fight is all about? It is about an invasion by a foreign band of thugs who took over by force from the peaceful Palestinians in 1948 with the blessing of the United Nations, Britain, and USA.

I talk with Palestinians daily and they talk peace and human rights. The Palestinians I know advocate a single state where every citizen has equal rights with every other citizen. Palestinians are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other religions. All the Jewish Palestinians are now Israelis or have converted to Islam or Christianity.

Jewish children are taught hate from early on in life. They grow up to be soldier terrorists against Palestinians. Though Palestinians have every reason to hate the Zionist invaders, they offer the olive branch of peace on condition of a basis of equality, not hate. Palestinian children, both Christian and Muslim, are taught to respect people of other religions. There are no schools in Palestine where hate is taught as a matter of course.

A study has been done about the teaching of hate in Jewish and Palestinian schools. It has been reported that the level of hate in Israeli schools for Jews is far greater than in Palestinian schools. This was done by a neutral international body of scholars. I will try to find the report and give a link on this site. What passes for hate according to Jews is truth of the history of Palestine.

Golda Meir was also quoted as saying that the killing of Palestinian children is OK because if they are not killed, they will grow up to fight Jews who came to take their land.

I do not doubt that many Palestinians hate Jews because of what Jews have done to their land. I know that most Jews hate Palestinians and all Arabs. But, I have many Jewish friends and know many more who are against what Zionist Israel is doing to Palestinians and Lebanese.

While you are viewing pictures of Palestinian kids waving the Palestinian flag with guns and dummy explosive belts, look also at the pictures recently of Israeli girls autographing warheads to be fired into Lebanon and Gaza. And take a look at a bunch of Israeli soldiers on a rampage in West Bank Palestinian towns.

Why not blame Zionist Jews for the nakba of Palestine? And why not blame Americans for siding with the murderers of children of Palestinian families? We certainly blamed Arabs for the World Trade Center towers nakba. We certainly blamed Saddam Hussein for the gassing of his own people.

Why do we not also blame President Truman for the massacre of thousands of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? How about President Andrew Jackson for the ‘Trail of Tears’? There is enough blame for history. Let us get to the peace building job of creating a just and lawful world where hateful killing would cease and where every person, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and any other religion, or even people who do not have a religion can live with each other in peaceful commerce and safe association.

Get to know the Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims; find out what they think and believe. You will be surprised at your own misinformation at the hands of whatever propaganda machine you are engaged with. Compare the present Zionist hate campaign against Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, and Christian with the peaceful advocacy of most Palestinians.

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By sPINOZA, September 4, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
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The issue is not nation against nation nor tribe against tribe but of a difference in world outlook. It is right vs.left and we need to make the majority of the people in the world leftists.  Plain and simple rightists are the enemy of mankind and revolutionaries who advocate a better world are the saviours of mankind

Charles Sullivan explains it in a few words.

WHY I AM A TERRORIST

By Charles Sullivan

09/03/06 “Information Clearing House”—- According to the twisted logic recently espoused by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, the failure to support illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars defines one as a terrorist. Let me be clear about where I stand: I know who the real terrorists are, and can name each one of them—Rumsfeld among the rest.

Everywhere you go in America you see the slogan, “Support our troops.” You see it on bumper stickers, storefronts, flags and banners, yellow ribbons and even in the windows of private homes. But what does it mean to support our troops? Is it to send them into harm’s way; to invade and occupy sovereign nations in illegal wars for empire? Is it to ask them to commit heinous crimes, to maim and to kill innocent civilians; to torture, insult, and to humiliate people who have done us no harm? Is it to steal the natural wealth that belongs to other nations and turn it over to American corporations?

If that is what it means, then I cannot support our troops. I cannot wish them well if their purpose is conquer other people, and plunder the wealth of other countries that have done us no harm. That would require me to endorse crimes against humanity conducted under the guise of national security and patriotism. I cannot do that—I will not. It is simply wrong.

Neither should we, as we so often do, confuse supporting our troops with supporting the president, or wrongful and immoral policies of corrupt government. The president and his ilk do not support our troops or he would not use them as pawns; he would take care of them when they come home broken and torn with psychic scars. He does not care about them—they are only a means to an end.

No, the best way to support our troops is to take a principled stand; to hold the moral high ground—to bring them home alive and whole. A government must not be allowed to require any of its citizens to engage in immoral or criminal behavior on its behalf. When a government behaves like a crime syndicate it does not mean that the people should follow its example—they must provide a better alternative, and refuse their allegiance to it.

So if the failure to support a government’s wrongful policies makes me a terrorist—so be it. If speaking truth to power makes one a terrorist—sign me up; move me to top of the NSA and FBI lists of suspects. Send forth the assassins with their rifles. If exposing the lies and corruption that attends power makes me a terrorist—I will proudly wear the crown and bear the cost. I will cheerfully take my place alongside other terrorists with names like Thoreau, Debs, King, Gandhi, Einstein, Zinn, and Christ.

Charles Sullivan is a photographer and free-lance writer residing in the hinterland of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By salman, September 4, 2006 at 10:48 am Link to this comment
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” You must stop teaching your children to hate”
Realist the New Zealander is just as delusional as you are.

A Palestinian who has had his land stolen, his house bulldozed, his brother killed, his movements restricted, his water and electricity cut-off, his food rationed, who is not safe in his house, on the road, on the beach, on the way to school, on the way to hospital and who has been kicked and spat on by IDF soldiers; tell me MR REALIST; does he still need to be indoctrinated to hate?

Here’s some more statements by Golda Meir who I believe went from Wisconsin to fulfill God’s promise.

“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”
—Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

“How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”
—Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

“Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen.”
—Golda Meir, 1961, in a speech to the Knesset, reported in Ner, October 1961

“This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.”
—Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971

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By Barry, September 4, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
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Re Arab ownership of land, baloney, I’ve seen lots of Israeli-Arab towns, they have no more headaches for permits than Jewish Israelis do.  What’s your evidence that Arab Israelis in Israel have different laws than Jewish Israelis?

Re the damage to the coast, it’s a shame they wouldn’t just give back the soldiers and stop shooting missiles, Israel would have stopped the war at once!  If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

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By Justice4all, September 4, 2006 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #21632

This is some real crooked logic and does not fly with people of the least common sense. Although I can give you hundreds of cases where Palestinians were robbed of their land, it is up to you to show me a few cases where Palestinians were able to purchase land in Israel in the open land market. FYI, even Israeli Arabs in Jaffa, Lod and other Arab towns in Israel need impossible-to-get permits to do minor maintenance on their own homes.

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By Kwagmyre, September 4, 2006 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
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Excellent article Spinoza! 

He could have also mentioned as I read about in today’s L.A. Times, that the oil spillage resulting from the Israeli airstrikes has caused massive damage to the coast(which scientists have compared to the Exxon Valdez disaster in ‘89)and destroyed the livelihoods of many fishermen.  Another effect is the harm to the tourism dependent economy.

How could Israel be so callous?

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By The Realist, September 4, 2006 at 3:08 am Link to this comment
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Here’s a letter from a New Zealander to the Palestinians (he’s not a Jew):

...Palestinians deserve better than the current mess you are in now - but before you can be given anything, you must offer a sincere peace, you must stop teaching your children to hate, you must stop believing that “victimhood” justifies everything. Accept that Jews are human beings too. Accept the verdict of 1948 and learn to live with it. Invest in banks, not bombs. Build computer chips, not Kalashnikovs. Teach science and mathematics, not hate. Look to the future, not the past. Stop blaming Americans and Jews for all your problems, and take responsibility for your own actions. Read those parts in the Quran about living with the “peoples of the Book”.

Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime minister, is quoted as saying ” there will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel “. Every time I see pictures of Palestinian children waving guns and wearing dummy explosives, then I can only say she is right. The alternative to peace is not victory but death. Think about it- before it’s too late.

David White, Auckland, New Zealand

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By Spinoza, September 3, 2006 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment
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ZNet | Activism

It’s time for Jewish dissenters to challenge Israeli policies

by Henri Picciotto; August 12, 2006

I grew up Jewish in Beirut. Although I left nearly 40 years ago, my memories of Lebanon—vibrant and multicultural—have stayed with me. And so, my wife and I had started talking about taking a trip there.

I would show her the neighborhood where I grew up, the beaches where I swam in the warm Mediterranean waters and the small mountain hotel we loved to stay at in the summer. I would also show her my school, where Jewish, Christian and Muslim children learned and grew together.

After the past few weeks, we may never be able to take this trip. Israeli bombings have killed more than 700 Lebanese civilians. Hundreds of thousands—more than one-fifth of the population—have become refugees, uprooted from their homes. Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure has been systematically destroyed.

We, as Americans, bear a special responsibility for this carnage. If Washington would withhold its unconditional military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel, the Israeli government would waste no time in starting genuine negotiations. Current U.S.-backed cease-fire proposals are so unfair to Lebanon that the Lebanese government has already indicated it cannot accept the terms, which do not even include a full Israeli withdrawal.

This one-sided U.S. policy is the result of a combination of factors, but it thrives on the myth that all American Jews stand uncritically behind the Israeli government.

Many believe that American Jews unanimously and unconditionally support the Israeli government. That what we learned from the Holocaust is to shoot first and ask questions later. That our commitment to justice and equal rights is a quaint feature of our past.

There is a saying ``two Jews, three opinions.’ Now we are told ``1 million Jews, one opinion.’

In fact, our community is profoundly divided:

• Hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews all over the country have demonstrated to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon. In one of these demonstrations, 17 Jewish protesters were arrested in an act of civil disobedience.

• In the past few days, thousands of Jews have signed a petition demanding that the United States intervene to stop the wanton killing of Lebanese civilians by the Israeli war machine.

• Jewish organizations that sponsor such demonstrations and petitions, such as Jewish Voice for Peace (on whose board I serve), are experiencing exponential growth. Jews are looking for ways to express their outrage at the actions of the Israeli government, and of the blind support accorded by the Jewish establishment in this country.

We are appalled by the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities, just as we were the earlier attacks by Israel on Lebanese cities. We mourn the loss of Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese lives equally. We are outraged by the destruction of Lebanese airports, roads and bridges, the bombing of homes and private cars, the killing of children, and the other horrors visited by the Israelis on their neighbors.

It is this kind of past Israeli behavior that gave birth to both Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that have strengthened immeasurably in recent weeks. Israeli intransigence has made Israel a pariah state, and is the biggest enemy of all the people of the Middle East—Arabs and Israelis alike.

Jewish American leaders work tirelessly to promote the myth of Jewish consensus. Their tactics include refusing to rent space to dissenters, threatening funding cuts when Jewish institutions question Israel’s actions and canceling meetings when they suspect debate might occur. Their most ubiquitous weapon is the hurtful charge of anti-Semitism, hurled at both dissenting Jews and Gentiles.

Many Jews question Israel’s policies, but are afraid to speak out in their congregations or even to their families. But the time has come for Jewish dissidents to challenge the policies of the Israeli government. In the short run these policies kill Arabs, mostly innocent civilians; in the long run, they can result only in disaster for Israelis and Jews worldwide. Our silence in this time of crisis is complicity. We need to help bring about the peace that would one day make my visit to Beirut—and the visit of all Jews—possible.


HENRI PICCIOTTO of Berkeley is a mathematics educator and chairman of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace (jewishvoiceforpeace.org). He wrote this article for the Mercury News.

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By Barry, September 3, 2006 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment
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Re the claim that Arabs or Palestinians can’t buy land, baloney, please bring some evidence.

Re Comment #21552 by Kwagmyre, I’ll let Dov speak for himself if he comes back, but whenever I see someone reply to an irrelevent side issue and not the main point, I sense baloney in the air.  Israel’s condition is agreeing to stop terror and live side by side.  There’s no condition that the Palestinians need to make a state, and no conditions of policies towards settlers, I don’t think Dov meant to imply either.  Israel assumes that the policy towards settlers will be to kill them, so the question of policy towards settlers is mute. 

But since Hamas says that they won’t promise to stop terror towards Israel no matter what land they get, it’s clear that they don’t want peace living side-by-side.

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By Spinoza, September 3, 2006 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
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These idiots calling everyone anti semitic are a disgrace to Jews and an enemy of Humanity. They are also stupid.

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By Justice4all, September 3, 2006 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
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This is really humorous and only indicates ignorance and lack of education. I think that some people on this forum live in La La Land.

It is hard as it is for Palestinians to protect their lawfully-owned land from confiscation and robbery and you are debating whether Palestinians can buy land in the open market. Wake up people!! Do you live on this planet? Where do you get your information? I bet from Fox and the likes. You need to go there and see for yourself instead on relying on misleading and false information that only reflect false propaganda, naivety and lack of intellectual reasoning.

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By Barry, September 3, 2006 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
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OK, interesting.

To Geronimo, I present the following scenario.  The Native Americans hold out for Manhattan, and say that nothing else will do.  The case goes to an international body consisting of anti-American Arab and European countries, who vote with the Native Americans.  Does America then have to, according to your moral opinion, have to give up Manhattan?

To Frank Goldman, I enjoyed your long exposition, but you miss some facts at the end.  Palestine was clearly controled by the British Mandate, both by de-facto control and by the League of Nations.  The British, along with the UN, has recognized the creation of the state of Israel on that land, or at least on half of it.  What this means is that the existance of the State of Israel on a portion of the land once known as Palestine is not “taken by aggression” but rather has a full legal basis according to your own reasoning.  It was the Arabs who refused the 1947 partition plan, which was put in place by the British and the UN, and disobeyed the principles you described by starting the 1948 war.  Whatever you want to say about details of particular areas of land or particular cities, the State of Israel was created within the parameters that you clearly describe, by the British Mandate and the UN.  Once created, the State of Israel was an internationally recognized country in all regards.  Perhaps a country with problems, perhaps a country with policies that people can disagree with, but a country in all senses of the word.  All this by your own well-expounded reasoning.

Now, I’m all in favor of a Palestinian state.  Let them take a huge portion of the West Bank, skipping the Etzion block which is a huge Israeli Jerusalem suburb, and create a state. This would be in the spirit of the UN partition plan, just with different borders.

But stop questioning Israel’s status as a country.  By Frank’s own clear logic, Israel is a country like any other.  Let’s go from here to peaceful living side by side.

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By Kwagmyre, September 3, 2006 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
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Posted earlier by Dov(who may not be around to read it):

“If the Palestinians don’t believe that Israel wants peace, let them agree to stop terror in return for land for a state.  I’m telling you that Israel would agree in a second, and would be happy to live side by side as two independent countries.”

Why do you as an Israeli take it upon yourself to impose this “condition” that the Palestinians go so far as establishing an official “state?”  Once they have rightfully acquired the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it should be entirely their business what to do with it, EVEN if that amounts to an unwillingness or lack of desire to create such a state.  And this should also extend to what policies they invoke with respect to the existing Jewish settlers there.

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By Kwagmyre, September 3, 2006 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
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Frank Goodman Sr. states:

“Any Palestinian should be able to purchase any land in Israel that is offered for sale in the open land market.”

Yes, one would certainly think so but the way the “rules” are established in Israel they have no such right(unless I’ve received mistaken info from a radio show I once heard).

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By salman, September 3, 2006 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
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The Israeli paper Ha’aretz reports that the head of Germany’s Jewish community accused a minister in Angela Merkel’s German government of “anti-Semitism” because of the minister’s statement on Israel’s use of cluster bombs. Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul had asked for a United Nations probe into Israel’s use of cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon

When Criticism of Cluster Bombs is “Anti-Semitic”
http://www.counterpunch.com/heller09022006.html

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By Kwagmyre, September 3, 2006 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
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Barry_King challenges us with:

“What would be this group’s response?  Do they get Manhattan as their own country?”

Yep, sure do.  And once entrenched, they can then install all the gambling casinos they can profitably manage.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 3, 2006 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #21457 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on 9/02

That is a very good question that needs an answer. However, the easy answer is not the right one.

Too many views of reality impact the solution to this for a simple first principle response.

I start with a nature view and answer first that whoever can take and hold a territory keeps it so long as nobody successfully challenges the occupation. That is the natural right of hostile domain. A remnant is found in real estate law in American states. If a property is abandoned, it reverts to the state, but if anybody pays taxes on it, farms it, improves it and defends it, they get it in what is commonly referred to as ‘squatter’s right’.

In the primitive state, whoever converts a piece of wild land into a domestic domain, claims it, and defends it against all hostile encroachment, owns the right to whatever of value can be extracted and the right to occupy it. The defense is the key. Any hostile encroachment that is successful wins. It is the source of the rule of spoils in war. Strength is the title.

Western civilization has developed over time a more peaceful method of holding and transfer of property rights. There are levels of land rights. Humans have developed a set of common law rules about land. One rule is the rule of sovereignty. That includes the governing rule over people and their activities within a jurisdiction. In the past a ‘prince’ held sovereignty over land and people. In a democracy, the ‘prince’ is the the ‘state’, which is the ‘people’. Though one person may occupy and defend a piece of real estate, all the people own it and can regulate it democratically. The state defends the individual right to occupy against any force greater than himself. National defense comes to mind. Legal rights are the instruments of law that are used to hold and transfer title. For that service the people can levy taxes against the individual owner of property for various purposes.

The bundle of individual rights to property are limited by the ‘state’, the rights of all the people being superior to the rights of one. In civilized behavior, force can only be used by the state in the name of the people to defend the property from foreign encroachment, or domestic dispute. It is expected that the people will form a ‘state’ to defend their rights to the use of property and against outside threats.

The concept of a super state over a group of states has just been attempted. International agreements and treaties were the first ‘super state’ in that they involve certain procedures to ensure peaceful occupancy and commerce. Broader ‘super states’ are federations and empires. The Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and others are examples. Within an empire, a jurisdiction is overlaid upon more than one local jurisdiction and individual rights are more or less guaranteed, limited, and controlled. The United Nations is the latest super state.

Problems occur in transition from primitive ownership to state jurisdiction. It can be argued that ownership in a natural hostile domain must be respected in the succession of sovereignty from wild to domestic, to state, to empire, to federation, to United Nations. The passing down from one generation to the next is an accepted practice so long as land is kept in production and use with a method of transfer by sale, gift, or homestead assumption of rights by squatters on abandoned property, or by escheat where ownership reverts to the state level of jurisdiction.

Beyond the mechanics of land transfer and sovereignty lies the trend to hold title under an enlightened sovereignty rule. Modern nations rule in the name of the people with all the implications of equality and combined interest in peaceful occupation. Conflicts are settled in law and custom, not strength of combat. No person may proclaim a domain to be independent of the jurisdiction of the state.

America has undergone transition from the natural state with the natives, native tribes, and native federations of tribes, to foreign conquest, to democracy with equality of rights of all. That raises the native rights to equality with the invaders. Such is the case in Palestine. Through history and various jurisdictions and conquests, property rights have been destroyed by force of arms. In the case of Manhattan, property rights transferred by agreement under the threat of force. All records of legal transfer of rights have been lost, but the growth of a democratic rule of law has superseded all primitive rights that could not be defended successfully. Thus Manhattan does not belong to the descendants of the natives who sold it for a few glass beads.

By the same rule, Palestine does not belong to the descendants of the Jews who won it by conquest millennia ago. But Jews who have gained it by force of arms and intimidation hold it now against any semblance of democratic jurisdiction. A modern rule of democracy would require that former owners could purchase the right from present occupiers by complying with the rule of equality and human rights which superseded the rule of the jungle. An American native may purchase any part of Manhattan that is offered for sale in the open land market. Any Palestinian should be able to purchase any land in Israel that is offered for sale in the open land market.

America allows foreign purchase of domestic land, but does not permit sovereignty to pass without treaty. Palestinians are fighting for sovereignty and human rights, not parcels of land. In a single state solution, all residents of Palestine/Israel would have equal rights. Land could then be transferred by legal title, not by conquest or theft, just as it is in America.

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By LaughingForOnce, September 3, 2006 at 4:45 am Link to this comment
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Bravo and a big belly laugh for Spinoza’s “Seven Rules of Nationalism!”

I have a feeling that’s one of those zingers that will be spammed all over the web in no time.

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By Geronimo, September 3, 2006 at 2:17 am Link to this comment
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Barry in Comment #21457 asks whether the descendents of the natives who owned Manhattan at the time that European settlers stole it from them should get back Manhattan now as their own country.  Of course they can’t receive Manhattan back now. What, and have to bulldoze Manhattan’s skyscrapers in order to plant some crops?  That’s a lose-lose proposition if ever there was one.  Fortunately there’s at least one win-win solution too, which is for the conquerors, represented by the government of the USA,  to ask the petitioning Indians to spell out what sort of reparations might be acceptable to them as compensation for the genocide that Euro-Christian settlers (this hemisphere’s counterpart to the Euro-Jewish settlers who now occupy Palestine) perpetrated upon their ancestors.
And what they’d ask for, they’re to get, with any conflicts as to what, where and how much they actually receive to be adjudicated this time around by an International Court of Indigenous Rights and not by the so-called American judicial system, being that historically its courts have a very bad record in terms of their standing up for native rights. 
And there’s every reason to believe, too, that a win-win type of settlement that works in Manhattan,  would be equally effective if applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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By Spinoza, September 2, 2006 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
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Chomsky most always gets it right.


Their View Of The World Is Through A Bombsight
by Noam Chomsky
September 02, 2006

The Guardian Printer Friendly Version
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In Lebanon, a little-honored truce remains in effect - yet another in a decades-long series of ceasefires between Israel and its adversaries in a cycle that, as if inevitably, returns to warfare, carnage and human misery. Let’s describe the current crisis for what it is: a US-Israeli invasion of Lebanon, with only a cynical pretense to legitimacy. Amid all the charges and counter-charges, the most immediate factor behind the assault is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is hardly the first time that Israel has invaded Lebanon to eliminate an alleged threat. The most important of the US-backed Israeli invasions of Lebanon, in 1982, was widely described in Israel as a war for the West Bank.

It was undertaken to end the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s annoying calls for a diplomatic settlement. Despite many different circumstances, the July invasion falls into the same pattern.

What would break the cycle? The basic outlines of a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict have been supported by a broad international consensus for 30 years: a two-state settlement on the international border, perhaps with minor and mutual adjustments.

The Arab states formally accepted this proposal in 2002, as the Palestinians had long before. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that though this solution is not Hizbullah’s preference, they will not disrupt it. Iran’s “supreme leader” Ayatollah Khamenei recently reaffirmed that Iran too supports this settlement. Hamas has indicated clearly that it is prepared to negotiate for a settlement in these terms as well.

The US and Israel continue to block this political settlement, as they have done for 30 years, with brief and inconsequential exceptions. Denial may be preferred at home, but the victims do not enjoy that luxury.

US-Israeli rejectionism is not only in words but, more importantly, in actions. With decisive US backing, Israel has been formalizing its program of annexation, dismemberment of shrinking Palestinian territories and imprisonment of what remains by taking over the Jordan valley - the “convergence” program that is, astonishingly, called “courageous withdrawal” in the US.

In consequence, the Palestinians are facing national destruction. The most meaningful support for Palestine is from Hizbullah, which was formed in reaction to the 1982 invasion. It won considerable prestige by leading the effort to force Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000. Also, like other Islamic movements including Hamas, Hizbullah has gained popular support by providing social services to the poor.

To US and Israeli planners it therefore follows that Hizbullah must be severely weakened or destroyed, just as the PLO had to be evicted from Lebanon in 1982. But Hizbullah is so deeply embedded in society that it cannot be eradicated without destroying much of Lebanon as well. Hence the scale of the attack on the country’s population and infrastructure.

In keeping with a familiar pattern, the aggression is sharply increasing the support for Hizbullah, not only in the Arab and Muslim worlds beyond, but also in Lebanon itself. Late last month, polls revealed that 87% of Lebanese support Hizbullah’s resistance against the invasion, including 80% of Christians and Druze. Even the Maronite Catholic patriarch, the spiritual leader of the most pro-western sector in Lebanon, joined Sunni and Shia religious leaders in a statement condemning the “aggression” and hailing “the resistance, mainly led by Hizbullah”. The poll also found that 90% of Lebanese regard the US as “complicit in Israel’s war crimes against the Lebanese people”.

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Lebanon’s leading academic scholar on Hizbullah, observes that “these findings are all the more significant when compared to the results of a similar survey conducted just five months ago, which showed that only 58% of all Lebanese believed Hizbullah had the right to remain armed, and hence continue its resistance activity”.

The dynamics are familiar. Rami Khouri, an editor of Lebanon’s Daily Star, writes that “the Lebanese and Palestinians have responded to Israel’s persistent and increasingly savage attacks against entire civilian populations by creating parallel or alternative leaderships that can protect them and deliver essential services”.

Such popular forces will only gain in power and become more extremist if the US and Israel persist in demolishing any hope of Palestinian national rights, and in destroying Lebanon.

Even King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Washington’s oldest ally in the region, was compelled to say: “If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance, then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire.”

It is no secret that Israel has helped to destroy secular Arab nationalism and to create Hizbullah and Hamas, just as US violence has expedited the rise of extremist Islamic fundamentalism and jihadi terror. The latest adventure is likely to create new generations of bitter and angry jihadis, just as the invasion of Iraq did.

Israeli writer Uri Avnery observed that the Israeli chief of staff Dan Halutz, a former air force commander, “views the world below through a bombsight”. Much the same is true of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and other top Bush administration planners. As history reveals, that view of the world is not uncommon among those who wield most of the means of violence.

Saad-Ghorayeb describes the current violence in “apocalyptic terms”, warning that possibly “all hell would be let loose” if the outcome of the US-Israel campaign leaves a situation in which “the Shia community is seething with resentment at Israel, the US and the government that it perceives as its betrayer”.

The core issue - the Israel-Palestine conflict - can be settled by diplomacy, if the US and Israel abandon their rejectionist commitments. Other outstanding problems in the region are also susceptible to negotiation and diplomacy. Their success can never be guaranteed. But we can be reasonably confident that viewing the world through a bombsight will bring further misery and suffering, perhaps even in “apocalyptic terms”.

Noam Chomsky’s most recent book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy; he is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology http://www.chomsky.info

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By Barry, September 2, 2006 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment
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“Gaza has been reoccupied. The world must know this and Israelis must know it, too. It is in its worst condition, ever. Since the abduction of Gilad Shalit, ...”

That’s right!  Israel withdrew and was out until terror.  Now, because of the abduction of Gilad Shalit, Israel is forced back in, to be sure that terror can’t be allowed to succeed.  Now, had the terrorists not abducted Gilad Shalit, Israel would not be back in Gaza.

Thank you Justice4All for pointing this out.

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By Spinoza, September 2, 2006 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
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>>>>OK, this is my last post here, I can’t keep repeating what I said.<<<<

So Dov, when are you going to join Gush Shalom?

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By barry_king@hotmail.com, September 2, 2006 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
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You go Geronimo!

Interesting question before never got answered.  Suppose the American Native Americans (Indians) demanded Manhattan island as their independent Native-American state.  The history is pretty clear that it was theirs and was bought from them under false pretenses.

What would be this group’s response?  Do they get Manhattan as their own country?

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By Spinoza, September 2, 2006 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
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THE SEVEN RULES OF NATIONALISM

1. If an area was ours for 500 years and yours for 50 years, it should belong to us - you are merely occupiers.

2. If an area was yours for 500 years and ours for 50 years, it should belong to us - borders must not be changed.

3. If an area belonged to us 500 years ago but never since then, it should belong to us - it is the Cradle of our Nation.

4. If a majority of our people live there, it must belong to us - they must enjoy the right of self-determination.

5. If a minority of our people live there, it must belong to us - they must be protected against your oppression.

6. All the above rules apply to us but not to you.

7. Our dream of greatness is Historical Necessity, yours is Fascism.

(unknown author)

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By Justice4all, September 2, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
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Ha’aretz, September 3, 2006
Gaza’s darkness

By Gideon Levy

Gaza has been reoccupied. The world must know this and Israelis must know it, too. It is in its worst condition, ever. Since the abduction of Gilad Shalit, and more so since the outbreak of the Lebanon war, the Israel Defense Forces has been rampaging through Gaza. There’s no other word to describe it,  killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately.

Nobody thinks about setting up a commission of inquiry; the issue isn’t even on the agenda. Nobody asks why it is being done and who decided to do it. But under the cover of the darkness of the Lebanon war, the IDF returned to its old practices in Gaza as if there had been no disengagement. So it must be said forthrightly, the disengagement is dead. Aside from the settlements that remain piles of rubble, nothing is left of the disengagement and its promises. How contemptible all the sublime and nonsensical talk about ‘the end of the occupation’ and ‘partitioning the land’ now appears. Gaza is occupied, and with greater brutality than before. The fact that it is more convenient for the occupier to control it from outside has nothing to do with the intolerable living conditions of the occupied.


 

In large parts of Gaza nowadays, there is no electricity. Israel bombed the only power station in Gaza, and more than half the electricity supply will be cut off for at least another year. There’s hardly any water. Since there is no electricity, supplying homes with water is nearly impossible. Gaza is filthier and smellier than ever: Because of the embargo Israel and the world have imposed on the elected authority, no salaries are being paid and the street cleaners have been on strike for the past few weeks. Piles of garbage and obnoxious clouds of stink strangle the coastal strip, turning it into Calcutta.

More than ever, Gaza is also like a prison. The Erez crossing is empty, the Karni crossing has been open only a few days over the last two months, and the same is true for the Rafah crossing. Some 15,000 people waited for two months to enter Egypt, some are still waiting, including many ailing and wounded people. Another 5,000 waited on the other side to return to their homes. Some died during the wait. One must see the scenes at Rafah to understand how profound a human tragedy is taking place. A crossing that was not supposed to have an Israeli presence continues to be Israel’s means to pressure 1.5 million inhabitants. This is disgraceful and shocking collective punishment. The U.S. and Europe, whose police are at the Rafah crossing, also bear responsibility for the situation.

Gaza is also poorer and hungrier than ever before. There is nearly no merchandise moving in and out, fishing is banned, the tens of thousands of PA workers receive no salaries, and the possibility of working in Israel is out of the question.

And we still haven’t mentioned the death, destruction and horror. In the last two months, Israel killed 224 Palestinians, 62 of them children and 25 of them women. It bombed and assassinated, destroyed and shelled, and no one stopped it. No Qassam cell or smuggling tunnel justifies such wide-scale killing. A day doesn’tt go by without deaths, most of them innocent civilians.

Where are the days when there was still a debate inside Israel about the assassinations? Today, Israel drops innumerable missiles, shells and bombs on houses and kills entire families on its way to another assassination. Hospitals are collapsing with more than 900 people undergoing treatment. At Shifa Hospital, the only such facility in Gaza that might be worthy of being called a hospital, I saw heartrending scenes last week. Children who lost limbs, on respirators, paralyzed, crippled for the rest of their lives.

Families have been killed in their sleep, while riding on donkeys or working in fields. Frightened children, traumatized by what they have seen, huddle in their homes with a horror in their eyes that is difficult to describe in words. A journalist from Spain who spent time in Gaza recently, a veteran of war and disaster zones around the world, said he had never been exposed to scenes as horrific as the ones he saw and documented over the last two months.

It is difficult to determine who decided on all this. It is doubtful the ministers are aware of the reality in Gaza. They are responsible for it, starting with the bad decision on the embargo, through the bombing of Gaza’s bridges and power station and the mass assassinations. Israel is responsible now once again for all that happens in Gaza.

The events in Gaza expose the great fraud of Kadima: It came to power on the coattails of the virtual success of the disengagement, which is now going up in flames, and it promised convergence, a promise that the prime minister has already rescinded. Those who think Kadima is a centrist party should now know it is nothing other than another rightist occupation party. The same is true of Labor. Defense Minister Amir Peretz is responsible for what is happening in Gaza no less than the prime minister, and Peretz’s hands are as blood-soaked as Olmert’s. He can never present himself as a ‘man of peace’ again. The ground invasions every week, each time somewhere else, the kill and destroy operations from the sea, air and land are all dubbed with names to whitewash the reality, like ‘Summer Rains’ or ‘Locked Kindergarten.’ No security excuse can explain the cycle of madness, and no civic argument can excuse the outrageous silence of us all. Gilad Shalit will not be released and the Qassams will not cease. On the contrary, there is a horror taking place in Gaza, and while it might prevent a few terror attacks in the short run, it is bound to give birth to much more murderous terror. Israel will then say with its self-righteousness: ‘But we returned Gaza to them.’

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 2, 2006 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #21364 by Dov on 9/02 at 11:15 am

Good riddance! Good-bye. Oft repeating of lies do not make them true.

If the Palestinians do not believe that Israel wants peace IOF will blow their heads off and then they will believe it. If enough Arabs are killed, that will teach them about peaceful intent. Palestinians, just lie down and let Israel take the rest of your land and then you can kindly leave for the nearest refugee camp. But, please no anti-Israel diatribe about peace. Peace is for Jews, not Palestinians. Take the 11% of Palestine slice Israel offered you or Israel will take it all. Jews need to have a place to wall you out of their ghetto. You Palestinians object to the bulldozing of your old olive trees? Hell, they are over a hundred years old anyway. How long can an olive tree live? They belong to Jews anyway, so why can’t Jews bulldoze them? God told Abraham that Palestine belongs to him. So what the hell are Palestinians doing there for the past 2000 years—planting olive trees for Israel to bulldoze.

Palestinians can just move over and make more room for more Jewish settlers. It improves the land, like think of all the fertilizer the settlers deposit on the land?

Dov, Hamas has not initiated a terrorist attack ever. Hamas always acts in response to an Israeli terrorist act upon Palestine from the beginning of its history. In fact the first terrorists in Palestine in modern times went by the names of the gangs of thugs, Irgun, Hagana, Stern Gang long before Hamas was even thought of. Palestinians learned most of the terrorist acts from those efficient terrorists from before 1948 and the terrorist gang, Hagana, which became the Israeli Army after Israel was declared a state. Terrorism against Palestinians continues to this day by that gang of thugs.

I do not doubt that if Palestinians did surrender the rest of their land to Israel, Israel would be at peace for a while, until they decided that they wanted Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and half of Iraq. After all, that was the land that Abraham crossed when he left Ur. Jews want all the tracks of Abraham.

Dov, I remind you that Palestinians had that land for almost 2000 years though they had to contend with a parade of occupiers. The ancestors of the Palestinians include people who lived there before Abraham was born. Some of the Palestinians are former Jews who converted to Islam when they learned that it was a cleaner religion. Other Jews married Muslim and Christian Palestinians and became Muslim or Christians along with all their children. There was immigration to what is now Palestine before Abraham saw his ‘promised land’. Abraham was not the only immigrant there and he was no tourist. One of the first things Abraham did when he arrived in Palestine, was to fight the natives he found there. It seems that the land without people had people who did not want their land stolen, so they objected to that plan early on. It seems that the land without people had people after all. Abraham came from a land with his people, so he did not have to steal somebody else’s land.

Jews, settle down and accept that you are not God’s chosen people, unless you were chosen to be bad examples. Your ghetto state is doomed to failure, now that the Arabs have been taught a lesson in war for independence. It took a few fanatic Shiites to teach Arabs that they do not have to take the shit from Israel. Did you ever try to knock down a hornet’s nest?

BTW, anti-Semitism means, against Semites. Semites are the Semitic people, Hebrews and Arabs. The Hebrews descended from Isaac, son of Abraham, and the Arabs descended from Ishmael, son of Abraham. I am not against Semites, I am against stealing other people’s land and killing their children. I am as much against Semitic Arabs killing Semitic Jew children as I am against Semitic Jews killing Semitic Arab children. All Semitic people, including Jews and Arabs, have human rights. So don’t give me that bull shit about anti-Semitism.

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By salman, September 2, 2006 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
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Well done Barry!
Barry and what were the “terrorists” complaining about?
They were complaining about your thieving and your murders and about your bombs; not about your hamburgers and your pepsi!
And where is all the thieving and the murders taking place?
Wake up! wake up! wake up!

Check out
http://worldcantwait.net/index.php

Extract from Ralph Nader’s
http://www.counterpunch.org/nader09022006.html
“This past week the President-obsessively-compulsed with his disastrous war policies-chose assemblies of veteran groups to reach new depths of historical hysteria. He compared the struggle against “Islamic extremists” to the battles against Nazism and Communism.

Consider this grotesque exaggeration. The Nazis launched an expansionist world war against numerous countries with what was then the most powerful military machine in the world. They slaughtered many millions of civilians. The Soviet communists possessed multiple nuclear capabilities which could destroy the United States in an hour-as the U.S. could do to them. Does George W. Bush have any idea what his prepared cue cards are telling him to utter?

The thrust of the opposition to the U.S. in the Middle East is to get the U.S. out of their land, their oil resources, and to stop backstopping the Israeli occupations of Arab land and control of precious Arab water in Palestine and Syria. Many in the Middle East want an end to the decades long military, political and diplomatic support of what they see as dictatorships over their own people.”

Extract from:
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=9636

“In normal society, individuals who live by this Nietzschean code of anti-ethics are called sociopaths. Most wind up behind bars. Others find employment in the various branches of government. Gillerman is a proud spokesman for this disturbing trend in official Israeli circles – it was he who wowed the crowd at the March 6 AIPAC conference when he averred,

“While it may be true – and probably is – that not all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim.”

Insert “Jew” in place of “Muslim,” and substitute “international bankers” or “Ecstasy dealers” for “terrorists,” and imagine the resulting furor: the speaker would be likened to Hitler and run out of town on a rail. Instead, Gillerman’s star rose in the American political firmament, so that by summer he was gracing the stage alongside Hillary Clinton at a pro-Israel rally in New York City”

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By Geronimo, September 2, 2006 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Sound of Liberation

None of us will be free until the last chain is broken and only the slave can free us all.

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By Barry, September 2, 2006 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
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What a surprise, more terrorists, and they happen to be Arabs!  I suppose that the British police are in cahoots with the Israelis?

Wake up people!  There is a worldwide problem of Arab terror!  Bali, the World Trade Center, wake up, wake up, wake up!

September 3, 2006
14 Are Arrested Overnight in London Anti-Terror Raids
By ALAN COWELL
LONDON, Sept. 2 — The British police arrested 14 men in south, east and north London overnight, raiding a halal restaurant and an Islamic school in the latest display of concern about the spread of potential terrorists among British Muslims, police officials said Saturday.

Separately, the police in Manchester in the northwest said they arrested two men in raids on three homes on Saturday morning. None of the arrests were linked to the huge security alert that began Aug. 10 when police rounded up 24 people to thwart what they called a terrorist suicide plot to bomb trans-Atlantic airliners, police officials said.

...

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By Amazed that anybody thinks Israel is a "haven", September 2, 2006 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By the way: why does anybody still buy this notion of Israel as a “refuge” for “the Jewish people”?

Has anyone noticed that the United States and many other countries do a much better job than Israel of serving as safe havens for people who happen to be Jewish?

Could it be that what secures safety for Jews and for all of us is modern, secular, enlightened government — not the creation of a religious/ethnic chauvinist, ethnic-cleansing, expansionist state on supposedly God-given ground where other people of the “wrong” ethnicity happen to be living?

Oh, you pathetic Israelis, with your stupid, brutish wall. We have a much better wall that protects us here: the wall of separation between religion and state.

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By Dov, September 2, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OK, this is my last post here, I can’t keep repeating what I said.

If the Palestinians don’t believe that Israel wants peace, let them agree to stop terror in return for land for a state.  I’m telling you that Israel would agree in a second, and would be happy to live side by side as two independent countries.  But time after time the Arabs have not said yes to this, and Hamas is still refusing to drop terror.

Again, if you don’t believe me, fine, I don’t care, I’m here and none of you are here.  Bottom line, the Arabs have never agreed to stop terror and accept a state in peace, and even when they had the land for 20 years, they didn’t build a state.  Until they agree to stop terror and build a state, noone can claim that Israel wouldn’t agree wholeheartedly.

http://www.israel-letters.blogspot.com/

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By Justice4all, September 2, 2006 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Criticize Israel? You’re an Anti-Semite!

How can we have a real discussion about Mideast peace if speaking honestly about Israel is out of bounds?

By Rosa Brooks:

09/01/06 “Los Angeles Times”——EVER WONDER what it’s like to be a pariah?

Publish something sharply critical of Israeli government policies and you’ll find out. If you’re lucky, you’ll merely discover that you’ve been uninvited to some dinner parties. If you’re less lucky, you’ll be the subject of an all-out attack by neoconservative pundits and accused of rabid anti-Semitism.

This, at least, is what happened to Ken Roth. Roth whose father fled Nazi Germany is executive director of Human Rights Watch, America’s largest and most respected human rights organization. (Disclosure: I have worked in the past as a paid consultant for the group.) In July, after the Israeli offensive in Lebanon began, Human Rights Watch did the same thing it has done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Congo, Uganda and countless other conflict zones around the globe: It sent researchers to monitor the conflict and report on any abuses committed by either side.

It found plenty. On July 18, Human Rights Watch condemned Hezbollah rocket strikes on civilian areas within Israel, calling the strikes “serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes.” So far, so good. You can’t lose when you criticize a terrorist organization.

But Roth and Human Rights Watch didn’t stop there. As the conflict’s death toll spiraled with most of the casualties Lebanese civilians Human Rights Watch also criticized Israel for indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Roth noted that the Israeli military appeared to be “treating southern Lebanon as a free-fire zone,” and he observed that the failure to take appropriate measures to distinguish between civilians and combatants constitutes a war crime.

The backlash was prompt. Roth and Human Rights Watch soon found themselves accused of unethical behavior, giving aid and comfort to terrorists and anti-Semitism. The conservative New York Sun attacked Roth (who is Jewish) for having a “clear pro-Hezbollah and anti-Israel bias” and accused him of engaging in “the de-legitimization of Judaism, the basis of much anti-Semitism. ” Neocon commentator David Horowitz called Roth a “reflexive Israel-basher … who, in his zest to pillory Israel at every turn, is little more than an ally of the barbarians.” The New Republic piled on, as did Alan Dershowitz, who claimed Human Rights Watch “cooks the books” to make Israel look bad. And writing in the Jewish Exponent, Jonathan Rosenblum accused Roth of resorting to a “slur about primitive Jewish bloodlust.”

Anyone familiar with Human Rights Watch or with Roth knows this to be lunacy. Human Rights Watch is nonpartisan it doesn’t “take sides” in conflicts. And the notion that Roth is anti-Semitic verges on the insane.

But what’s most troubling about the vitriol directed at Roth and his organization isn’t that it’s savage, unfounded and fantastical. What’s most troubling is that it’s typical. Typical, that is, of what anyone rash enough to criticize Israel can expect to encounter. In the United States today, it just isn’t possible to have a civil debate about Israel, because any serious criticism of its policies is instantly countered with charges of anti-Semitism. Think Israel’s tactics against Hezbollah were too heavy-handed, or that Israel hasn’t always been wholly fair to the Palestinians, or that the United States should reconsider its unquestioning financial and military support for Israel? Shhh: Don’t voice those sentiments unless you want to be called an anti-Semite and probably a terrorist sympathizer to boot.

How did adopting a reflexively pro-Israel stance come to be a mandatory aspect of American Jewish identity? Skepticism a willingness to ask tough questions, a refusal to embrace dogma has always been central to the Jewish intellectual tradition. Ironically, this tradition remains alive in Israel, where respected public figures routinely criticize the government in far harsher terms than those used by Human Rights Watch.

In a climate in which good-faith criticism of Israel is automatically denounced as anti-Semitic, everyone loses. Israeli policies are a major source of discord in the Islamic world, and anger at Israel usually spills over into anger at the U.S., Israel’s biggest backer.

With resentment of Israeli policies fueling terrorism and instability both in the Middle East and around the globe, it’s past time for Americans to have a serious national debate about how to bring a just peace to the Middle East. But if criticism of Israel is out of bounds, that debate can’t occur and we’ll all pay the price.

Back to Human Rights Watch’s critics. Why waste time denouncing imaginary anti-Semitism when there’s no shortage of the real thing? From politically motivated arrests of Jews in Iran to assaults on Jewish children in Ukraine, there’s plenty of genuine anti-Semitism out there and Human Rights Watch is usually taking the lead in condemning it. So if you’re bothered by anti-Semitism if you’re bothered by ideologies that insist that some human lives have less value than others you could do a whole lot worse than send a check to Human Rights Watch.

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By Justice4all, September 2, 2006 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
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video worth watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqvLtoWBpTU

Is this love or what?

Israeli settlers teaching their children how to love and co-exist with their Palestinian neighbours!!! In case you missed it, the agressors and stone-throwers are the Israeli children backed by their parents and the Israeli police who are suppose to maintain order and peace.

BTW, this is not California or Arizona. This is occupied Hebron. Oh gee, if this is love, I do not know what hatred is.

Shabat shalom and have a nice weekend to you all!!

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By Kwagmyre, September 2, 2006 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stated by Frank Goodman Sr.:

“Now it cannot be denied that Israel is an oppressor regime. Israel is for Jews. Muslims and Christians can take 2nd, 3rd, or 4th class citizenship if they wish to stay. But never first class citizenship.”

This is why Israel has been cited as being an Apartheid state.  If it’s a “democracy” then democratic rights or priviledges don’t extend to the so called second or third class citizens.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 2, 2006 at 5:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #21066 by Barry on 8/31

Barry, notice that Sarah said that “Israel” bought the land. Correction: It was Jews who took donated money and bought the land. Israel did not exist at the time. It was Palestine, first under the Ottoman Empire, then under British Mandate, then a political vacuum when the British fled from the Stern Gang, Hagana, and Irgun.

The thugs among the refugees from Europe who ran amuk in Palestine massacred whole villages of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, harassed the British, burned King David Hotel, and made life miserable for everyone, including themselves to this day. When Israel was declared a state by the Jewish terrorists in 1948, one of the gangs became the Army of Israel. It continues to this day as a gang of thugs who terrorize the Palestinians day in and day out over all of Palestine.

Zionist oriented Jews do not respect human rights and equality before the law. So long as that thug mentality is in power in Palestine with the blessing of the Super Power and the United Nations of the World, there will be no peace in the Holy Land of Peace.

I presented a concept of an overlay state of Palestine/Israel some time ago in a forum.

Here is the concept:

The United States of America has overlay jurisdictions. They function quite well though jurisdiction is a problem in law. Miami, is a city in Dade County in the state of Florida, in the United States. Miami has its statutes, Dade County has its statutes, Florida has its statutes, and there is federal law, a state constitution, and a federal constitution. Overlaid is a body of common law and practice.

Within the city of Miami, there are private associations, businesses, families, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, fraternal
organizations, schools, and unions. Each has its set of rules and laws. All work together by linkage and under the civil jurisdictions. The constitution of the United States guarantees equality before the law for each individual person within the jurisdiction of the federation. Any person is free to associate with any non-governmental group he/she chooses that will admit him/her to membership or association. All within a governmental jurisdiction are subject to the laws of that jurisdiction. Anyone is free to move from Sunrise to another city, or from another city to Sunrise. Any person is free to move from Florida to any other state or from any other state to Florida. And any person is free to disassociate his citizenship from the United States of America in favor of any nation that will admit him/her to citizenship.

The key to success is the assumption of equality and freedom of movement. Personal rights include freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Religion can govern only by voluntary association and membership. Religion cannot encroach upon civil rights nor civil rights upon unique religious practice.  In a state of Palestine/Israel, there could be two or more overlay jurisdictions. One could be called Israel; another Palestine. A third could be called ‘none of the above’. If Christians wished to disassociate themselves from Muslims for purposes only they could understand, a fourth overlay domain could be Christian Palestine. Civil law would overlay all other law to assure equality before the law and rule affairs of commerce and contracts.

The problem of human rights would prevail, which is the solution to all the other problems in that sorry land. There is no ‘Chosen Group of People of God’ in this world, and never has been. God chose each person to exist with a life, and political jurisdictions have to respect God’s Will in this regard. Walls, guns, and oppressive politics won’t cut it.

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By SoYouSurvived_WhoopDeeDoo, September 2, 2006 at 4:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sarah says: “Jews have been fighting for their survival forever.  They’re getting better at it.  If that pisses off a few people that want to erase them….too bad.”

Look, Sarah dear: surviving is like $hitting. We all do it; but it’s not anybody else’s business. If you Israelis want to “survive” by $hitting all over your neighbors, fine. But I want MY government out of this nasty business.

Go, in short, to the hell you’re making for yourselves — and go by yourselves. We AMERICANS don’t want OUR name on YOUR turds ANY MORE.

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By Geronimo, September 1, 2006 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While Israel claims to speak for all Jews, there are many Jews who say that’s not so and won’t have anything to do with the settler-state -

“What, and be on the side of the slavemaster?  Unthinkable!  That would be sacriligious.”

“But what about the myths and the rituals?”

“The escape from bondage in Egypt. That’s what counts.  Everything else is ornamental.”

“And what of the Crusades,  the Inquisition and the Holocaust?  Any lesson?”

“Always be on the side of the slave.  Never ever side with the slavemaster.”

“And if the slavemaster is a Jew?”

“Especially when the slavemaster is a Jew”


 

 


   

.

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By Spinoza, September 1, 2006 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On Hatred

Everyone hates everyone, that is understood.

  Barry posts crap from Front Page, David Horowitz’s ultra right wing hate sheet.

Salman posts an article from some sort of Christian who hates Jews.

Look it is understandable that Jews are suspicious of “goyim” and that Muslims are suspicious of Jews and visa versa given recent history. The question is, do we want to promote hatred?  Do we want our children to grow-up with enmity in their hearts?  Would we not be better off if we took a live and let live attitude? Of course mutual respect would be ideal but we can’t hope for miracles.  I wish everyone was a leftist and had an anti fascist mentality but that too is asking for miracles.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 1, 2006 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #20989 by Sarah on 8/31 at 2:53 pm

Yes, anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise. At first anti-Semitism was only against the Jews, now it is against the other Semitic people. One person asked if there is a word for being against Arabs. Yes, it is anti-Semitism. Arabs are, as descendants of Shem, son of Noah, Semitic people. Jews long ago coined the term to object to being mistreated by Christian Europeans. Europeans also discriminate against other Semitic people, so Hitler was not just against Jews. He did not like any people he chose to exclude from the superior Aryan race. Guess what, that included Africans, Asians, and a number of white Europeans Hitler did not like.

Biblical accounts hint very loudly that God allowed some of the tribes to punish Jews because of the violations of the Covenant. I wonder if the God of the Jews hates them, too. Is God anti-Semitic? He has allowed Jews to be mistreated for a long time without doing all in his omnipotence to prevent it. If, indeed, Palestine is the Promised Land for the Jews, why does God give them so much trouble occupying it? They have been thrown out or fled time and again. Wonder how in hell they wound up in Egypt, Babylon and Europe at various times in the past. But, where is their deed and title? Many a Palestinian holds a piece of paper from many years ago that gives title to a property now in the hands of a Jew. Not only that, but they often have the key to the front door before the whole house was demolished so that the land could be converted to some other use.

Jews, not Israel, bought some of the land they now live on. The rest was grabbed when the gangs of thugs ran the farmers off their land and the armed gangs massacred the inhabitants of whole villages in Palestine prior to 1948. After 1948 many Palestinian lost his property because Jews had a prior claim, having ancestors who left it about 2000 years ago and lived in a Diaspora for almost two millennia. The prior claim was not backed up by any evidence that they owned that parcel of land, just historic accounts of the Jews fleeing the Romans and other invaders, just like Palestinians fled the murderers who invaded their land after World War Two. Jews who did buy their land, did not come there to live as neighbors and citizens of Palestine, but to take it over as a state for Jews alone. Of course native Palestinians objected and when Jews got nasty, so did the Palestinians. Jews who lived in Palestine from the time of the other Jews fled to Europe and beyond, remained in friendly contact with their fellow Muslim and Christian Palestinians. There are many Oriental Jews who are quite at home with Muslim and Christian Palestinians.

I suppose Israel was not originally an oppressor, it was only when the Palestinians rejected their holier than thou attitude and told them to accept equality before God, that Zionists began to take charge. Only with the money coming in from Europe and America from people who wanted to get rid of their own Jews by giving them a homeland in Palestine could the Zionists launch a conquest that ultimately drove out the poorly armed Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Now it cannot be denied that Israel is an oppressor regime. Israel is for Jews. Muslims and Christians can take 2nd, 3rd, or 4th class citizenship if they wish to stay. But never first class citizenship. After all, a similar situation existed in America. Black people enjoyed very good treatment as 2nd, 3rd, or 4th class citizenship. We whites all just loved the ‘niggers’ as long as they stayed in their place. As long as Arabs stay in their place, which is where Jews tell them they can stay, they can have all the shitty job Israelis are too good to do. Palestinians are now fighting for their survival and getting better at it. Even the Lebanese are getting better at fighting Jews, now that they have a real army defending them. The most recent encounters by Jews in Palestine and Lebanon means…too bad for Israel.

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By salman, September 1, 2006 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
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Just one more point Barry: Does this Jeff guy who has been caught represent the Christian faith? I mean he does have 10,000 followers. There’s fanatics and weird people in every faith group.

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By salman, September 1, 2006 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment
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Re Barry’s Frontpagemag link: Every point made in the article can be refuted; here I’d just like to touch on a few:

a) I don’t know why it bothers Barry what people wear in the Muslim world. If the women choose to dress modestly are we to condemn them as fubdamentalists? In the newly cluster-bomb liberated Afghanistan most women still voluntarily wear the same clothes that they wore, not just during the Taliban rule, but what they have worn for centuries. Is it a requirement for Muslim women to be scantily dressed to pass the “civilization” test? Doesn’t democracy include freedom to choose your wardrobe?
b) On the point about Saudi Arabia’s restrictions for the holy sites. Isn’t the same true for say the Vatican or the Jewish holy sites? Can I go into St Peters or to the wailing wall to convert the congregation to Islam? Although I am not defending everything the Saudis do; I think they are rethinking their laws re womens’ driving permits. About death penalty for those who convert to another religion; how does one explain the existence of Christian minorities?
c) As for equal rights for Arabs in Israel, please re-visit: http://www.couplescompany.com/Features/Politics/2005/ValueI1.htm
d) I think Israel’s involvement in the Darfur conflict is well established and while the actions or inaction of the Sudanese Govt are truly deplorable, there was a lot of foreigners who were inciting the warring factions.
e) On the individual cases showcasing Muslims, Barry shows his true colors; as if to say there is no militant groups in western cultures. Really laughable. Does he remember that Kahane guy who went on a shooting spree in Jerusalem I believe, killing dozens of Muslim worshippers, and is now revered as a hero in Israel.
There’s evil people all around; so please Barry don’t tell us that Muslims have a monoply on evil.
f) Meantime, which slot would you like to use; good or evil; for the deliberate dropping of thousands of cluster bombs, immediately before the cessation of hostilities, in Lebanon, designed to kill countless innocent civilians.

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By Barak, September 1, 2006 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
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Hey Spinoza, what about seeing a psychiatrist and getting medication for OCD. You have a severe personality disorder. Go get a life!

At this point you sound pathetic. You spend so much time on this blog, that I have visions of you living in a studio apartment, no friends, no social life, nurtured and drunk by your own poison.

LeChaim!

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By Justice4all, September 1, 2006 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment
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Video of Mearsheimer/ Walt presentation:

http://www.corvuswire.com/walt-mearsheimer.htm?ABCDEFGH

But only for those who have open minds and minimum sense of logic. Do not watch if you don’t

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By Spinoza, September 1, 2006 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
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Barry, the land bought was only 6% so that makes you and Sarah liars.

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By salman, September 1, 2006 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
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An interesting perspective: Rev. Ted Pike is the director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian-conservative, watchdog organization.

http://www.middleeast.org/forum/fb-public/1/4549.shtml

We keep hearing ad nauseum of anti-semitism; how come there’s no equivalent words for hatred against Muslims, Arabs and Islam?

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By Barry, August 31, 2006 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
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Re Sarah’s comments about Jews buying the land, this is not something you can deny, all elderly Jews in America remember their green Jewish National Fund charity boxes in their kitchens.  This money bought Israeli land from Arab absentee landlords, mostly in Egypt.

Now, you can argue that buying land from absentee landlords is unfair to local residents.  It’s caused problems in other countries.  But the fact that it happened is undeniable.  Everyone in America remembers collecting their coins in every Jewish kitchen, kids bringing pennies to Hebrew school, and obviously big donations from rich Jews as well.

Once Jews bought the land, we made it flourish.  Compare Mark Twain’s description of the area before Jewish ownership to the successful kibbutzim now.

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