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Ear to the Ground

Israeli Tourist Ad Banned

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Posted on Jul 15, 2009
Tour Ad
guardian.co.uk

The full tourism poster, linked at left, shows the state of Israel as including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

What’s wrong with this picture? The Israeli Government Tourist Office seems to have forgotten its neighbors and included the occupied territories as part of Israel on a map in an advertisement. Consequently, the ad has been banned.

Click here to see the advertisement in full.

The Guardian:

A tourism campaign depicting the areas of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights as part of Israel has been banned by the advertising watchdog following hundreds of complaints.

The poster campaign, run by the Israeli Government Tourist Office, ran with the headline “experience Israel” with a picture of a boy snorkelling with dolphins. The ad featured a map of Israel that included the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

The Advertising Standards Authority received complaints from 442 members of the public, as well as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, that the poster misleadingly implied that these areas were internationally recognised as part of Israel.

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Shingo, There is ongoing Hamas activity that is reported in detail in Honest Reporting Canada’s July 28, 11pm update, which belies any intentiion of accepting Israel. You can probably google it easily if interested. If it doesn’t work let me know and I’ll list some of the specifics. (My cut and paste function does not work.)But later tomorrow.

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

Shingo, There is ongoing Hamas activity that is reported in detail in Honest Reporting Canada’s July 28, 11pm update, which belies any intentiion of accepting Israel. You can probably google it easily if interested. If it doesn’t work let me know and I’ll list some of the specifics. (My cut and paste function does not work.)

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By Sepharad, July 29, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Shingo, Sure, if they revise their charter to conform to what they say now, preferably clearly saying that means they accept Israel’s right to exist as long as Israel accepts and recognizes the existence of a new Palestinian state. I also believe Livni’s willingness to negotiate the status of East Jerusalem is an important part of that Palestinian state, which Netanyahu and Liebermn say is out of the question. And I further believe that Amos Oz is correct in saying that the new Palestinian state should have its own army as well as police.

Herding cats comes to mind.

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By Shingo, July 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Does that mean you’ll take Hamas at their word when they say they want a 2 state settlement?

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By Sepharad, July 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, I take Tzipi Livni at her word for the reasons I gave, I’ll take Hamas spokespeople at their word and their books as what they say they mean.

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By Shingo, July 28, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Another obvious conclusion one can draw from Tzipi Livni’s statement is that the longer the ceasefire continued, the more moderate Hamas would be perceived and hence, the greater the pressure on Israel to deal with Hamas.

Like it or not, as the legal representatives of Gaza, Hamas are entitled to be armed.  It’s not as though they could possibly amass a military arsenal that challenges Israel in any way.

Your argument is circular and contradictory.  You want Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel, but you don’t want a ceasefire, because that gives Hamas time to re-arm.  Do you not see how ridiculous that is?

Yes, once in a while, the NYTimes will print an interview with a Hamas representative.  So what?  How many times do Israeli leaders and supporters appear in the NYTime?

The first time Hamas called a ceasefire, as I recall, was shortly after they defeated Fatah at the polls.

So what if “A woman speaking for them” said what she did?  Political leaders always pander to their base with inflammatory rhetoric.

The Palestinian refugee problem has nothing to do with Arabic pr.  The Palestinian refugees don’t want to be absorbed into Arab states, they want their homes back.  Israelis didn’t “absorb” refugee Jews from Arab countries into Israel, they insisted they come to Israel to populate it and and strengthen the country.

Hezbollah’s origins have nothing to do with Iran.  Iran may support them, but Hezbollah came into existence as a nationalistic Lebanese resistance movement.  Iran might be trying to influence them, but they are not Iranian proxies.

The argument that Hamas and Hezbollah use human shields is also weak.  After the Lebanon war of 2006, subsequent investigations debunked Israel’s claims that Hezbollah were using human shields.


Amnesty and HRW Claims Discredited in Detailed Report
http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/amnesty_and_hrw_claims_discredited_in_detailed_report

Human Rights Watch: Troubling Report
http://www.nysun.com/opinion/human-rights-watch-troubling-report/46037/

Israeli ‘human shield’ claim is full of holes
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090113/FOREIGN/591536290/1002

Ironically, Israel have been caught on camera using human shields many times, most recently in Gaza.

Hezbollah and Hamas are militia groups with limited resources.  They have no military bases or air forces to house.

In the case of Hamas, all of Gaza densely populated, so it leaves Hamas few options as to where they can stash weaponry. it’s not really a sound argument.

There international money and aid sent to Gaza is small and subject to Israel scruitiny.  Israel’s blockade Gaza is water right and they restrict the most basic supplies from entering.

The executions of collaborators in Gaza does take place, but it is clearly exaggerated.  What country takes kindly to traitors and spies?

The reason I don’t separate the bad from the good is because the bad is in control and makes policy.  As to how you can deny that Israel is in control of this conflict and clearly in the dominant position is mid boggling.

In spite of Israel’s small population, Israel dominates the area.  For a country of 7 million to have the 4th most powerful military is truly incredible and has emboldened them to use that military strength unnecessarily and for immoral reasons.

Syria left Lebanon years ago. Hezbollah ARE and have always been Lebanese.

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By Sepharad, July 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Shingo,

Tzipi Livni said an extended ceasefire was not in Israel’s best interests because Hamas simply uses the time to reorganize and rearm. But the other day they decided to stop rocketing and pursue a flat-out pr campaign, as detailed (by them) in a NYTimes article. The first time Hamas called a ceasefire, as I recall, was shortly after they defeated Fatah at the polls. A woman speaking for them said that “the warriors need to rest” and something to the gist to reorganize and gather weapons. (A lot of the weapons since then have been used against Fatah and its sympathizers in Gaza, continuing to present, rather than against Israel.)

The worst aspect of Arabic pr is keeping the Palestinians in refugee camp instead of absorbing them into the surrounding Arab countries, as the Israelis absorbed refugee Jews from Arab countries into Israel between ‘48 and ‘50.

The only end to the suffering of the Palestinians will be when they and Israel agree on the second state. (Obviously, none of the Arab countries want to help them do anything but raise their children to become martyrs.)

As for Hezbollah, you know it is just Iran trying to project its power into the Sunni areas (and succeeding, though judging by the last election the Lebanese haven’t quite given up).  BOTH Hamas and Hezbollah use human shields habitually, by living and stashing weapons and fighting in densely populated areas. And they do it more specifically too.


The people who batten on the Palestinians see to it that their suffering is projected far and wide. It keeps both local and international focus off their own countries. There IS international money and aid flowing to the Palestinians but in Gaza today it goes thru Hamas and reaches their supporters. Yesterday it went through Fatah and stopped with Arafat and his cronies. Abbas’ Fatah may be far less corrupt than the old Fatah—I don’t know; I hope so for the people’s sake because they need leaders who put their needs above all else. Religious fanaticism has the greatest appeal to the poorest and the most hopeless.

Part of the successful Arab propaganda efforts is its ability to keep the executions of “collabors” below most media radar. Many of these collaborators are doing business with Israelis, Arabs and Jews both, and successful collaborative businesses are death magnets. And true, sometimes collaborators really are spying for Israel—both for money and also for giving Israel specific targets to attack rather than blunderng in and damaging entire neighborhoods. 

Again, I do disagree with some specific Israeli moves—like the wrecked neighborhood markets, in degrading and making life impossible for others in the same lamd, in Israel. You don’t seem to want to separate the bad from the good, which is why I find it hard to respond to some of your posts. If this is all about the Palestinian underdog—that’s one thing. Identifying top dog as Israel is irrational, considering their numbers, their area. Considering them as aggressor is even more ridiculous, considering that Syria and Hezbollah have just about done in Lebanon.

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By Shingo, July 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

It’s a blatant lie to suggest that Arabs are good at PR.  In fact, Palestinians are pathetic when it comes to PR.  Very few of them speak English for a start and even those that do have a thick Arab accent.  What you regard as PR is more a case of Israel’s crimes being exposed, because no matter how good your PR, massacres and murders are very difficult to justify or rationalize.
Perhaps you and Sayaret would argue that carrying a dead blood soaked child in your arms in good PR, others would simply argue that it’s a macabre example of Israel’s policies.  In these case, one’s level credibility comes a distant second to what is actually taking place.
I agree that what Israel is doing is detrimental to her survival.  You and I are n the same page in that regard.
I am critical and cynical about Israel’s efforts with regard to security because the reality simply doesn’t add up or make any sense.  The Gaza siege for example, was not an act of self defense by any stretch of the imagination. 
Tzipi Livni revealed that Israel’s policies are indeed sadistic when she told the world that an extended ceasefire was not in Israel’s strategic interests.  Now if a ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests, then neither is security and peace.  There’s no other way to put it.
Hamas and Hezbollah have no desire to o hurt and kill their neighbors. No one wants to kill for killing’s sake, not even Israel.  Killing is a means to an end. Hamas want a Palestinian state.  Hezbollah want Israel to stay out of Southern Lebanon.  All three use violence to achieve their aims.
The birth rate among Palestinians has nothing to do with water or land available to them, or lack of.  Birth rates among starving populations tend to remain high. 
Israel clearly has the upper hand, they are an occupying power and they have the final say in what happens to the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.  How could anyone not hold Israel to overwhelmingly to account?  Now, with everything to lose, is it not obvious that Israel would prefer not to give anything away, whether it belongs to them or not?

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By Sepharad, July 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, If Sayaret refutes individual cases you say there are too many more for that to mean anything.
If he or I say something insufficiently specific, you regard it as vagueness and generalizing to make Israel look good.

I know Israel is not always right. People in Israel know Israel is not always right and argue among themselves. Israelis want themselves to look good and try pr though they are not very good at it. Arabs want to look good and are better at is as no one seems to hold them to any standard of credibility. (Maybe Hamas’ new policy of no rockets but lots of pr, movies etc. will probably lead people to say “See that? No rockets, what’s this paranoia on the part of Israelis?”

The difference between you and I is that I see what Israel is doing that I think is detrimental to her survival (Netanyahu, Lieberman, obsessing about attacking Iran etc.) and try to affect those things within and without Israel among people who can have some effect. I am glad Obama is using money to improve the settlement expansion attitude. But you refuse to acknowledge anything Israel does regarding security and the Arabs is nothing but some sadistic wish to hurt or kill their neighbors. That simply is not true. Apart from Hamas and Hezbollah, I don’t think most Palestinians want to hurt and kill their neighbors. For example, you see Israeli Jewish population growth as irresponsible because of available water (and land) yet ignore the huge families Palestinians tend to have despite the available water, land, and more. (The religious settlers also have humongous families, and it also upsets some Palestinians in the West Bank.) Everyone should weigh the consequences of family size along with everything else they do—not just Arabs and Jews.

I’m convince that both sides want to be able to live and support their families and see an end to the Israeli-Arab warring. But you see Israel as being somehow uninterested in these things. As long as you are so unwilling to consider the Israelis as people with rights just as the Palestinians have rights, we can never agree on anything.

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By Shingo, July 27, 2009 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Yes there are a mountain of accusations leveled at Israel and its soldiers, and these are only compounded by the absurd manner in which Israel handles these accusations.  Forgive me is I sound like I’m generalizing, but when you hear asinine suggestions like the IDF being the most moral army in the world, anyone with any degree of cynicism is going to want to puke.

This statement, in concert with demand that such juvenile statements be taken seriously, or risk being accused of anti Semitism,  just feed the incredulity of the public.  Israel’s blocking of foreign reports from Gaza only reaffirms in everyone’s mind that Israel is up to no good and wants to make sure no one is around to report it.

You are Sayeret Golani cling to a handful of isolated cases when Israel were not 100% guilty and insist that this in itself is evidence of a flood of inaccuracies. Well, it isns’t and I’m here to tell your arguments don’t convince anyone.

Almost every time, the story and reports that Israel either don’t add up or are subsequently exposed as lies. In Gaza and Lebanon, Israel’s lies were exposed every step of the way.  Every time a report is released that condemns Israel, the response is never one of acknowledging responsibility, but a blanket and childish protest that the authors of the report were driven by a hatred of Israel.

You can only blame the world for so long before admitting that the problem lies with you.  Israel has for too long insisted it be given the benefit of the doubt, but it’s credit card has been maxed out and it’s pay day.

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By Shingo, July 27, 2009 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Sayeret Golani,

The murderer of Rabin was indeed a Zionist, albeit an extremist, though by today’s standards, he would hardly be regarded as as extremist, given how far Israel has moved to the right.

It is surprising how many Palestinians get shot is crossfire, much like the way black people used to get shot so often by stray bullets in the US.  In 2005, an 13 year old Israeli girl was shot a point blank range by an IDF soldier at check point.  He emptied 2 clips of bullets into her body to, as he later explained, “confirm the kill”. 

He was found not guilty of any crime.  There are dozens of cases like this, and likely, many we never get to hear about.

This is a grave mischaracterization of the events. 

There was also the case of Israeli boats shelling the beach in Gaza, and later claiming that it wasn’t their doing until they were caught on video tape.

Beore that was the rocket attack on the UN Refugee compound in Qana, killed over a hundred Palestinians.  Israel denied it of course.  It was only because of one brave IDF officer coming forward with video tape revealing the Israeli drone that carried out the attack, that exposed this massacre.

You can blame this on polarization, o simply conclude that there is an undeniable pattern that emerges from all this. Israel carry out crimes and in their subsequent investigations, conclude either no wrongdoing, or an accident.

So yes Robert is purposefully accusing a soldier of murder, and chances are he is right.  The IDF have never leveled charges against their own troops, so it is an insufficient argument to claim that the absence of such charges is proof of anything.

The only reason you believe these events not to be black and white, is because as you yourself have admitted, you are impervious to facts or reason.

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By Sepharad, July 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Sayaret Golani, thanks for your most recent post. There are so many accusations leveled at Israel and its soldiers that those not living there usually don’t get the whole story. When I can, I go to Honest Reporting, which tries to rebut inaccuracies in stories and even photos and sometimes get results. (Example, the poor boy huddled in his father’s arms during a firefight was represented as being killed by Israeli fire and widely printed from an Agence France report. Eyewitnesses, including Palestinians, said that is not what happend, HR contacted Agence France, which initially refused to retract it, but were taken to court. After the witnesses gave their accounts, Agence France was judged in error. They publically retracted the story and published the correct account—but naturally it was no longer big news and no longer on the front page, so most people continue to hold the initial impression.) But no one can keep up with the flood of inaccuracies generated. Therefore, whenever someone who is on hand to read the follow-ups can do a great deal to keep the record straight. I rebut what I can (though it’s usually dismissed as Zionist propaganda) but don’t have the direct contact you do. Please keep up the good work. (It’s not easy keeping up with Robert’s xerox machine.)

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By Sayeret Golani, July 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Sepharad.  The murderer of Rabin was clearly not a Zionist, at least not anywhere but in his head.  Fanatic most definitely.  This is why I hate it when you call me or other pro-Israel posters fanatics, since fanatics are irrational and we are not here engaged in irrational argument. 

Robert

“An Israeli soldier shot a nine year old daughter, Abir, in the head as she was leaving school to go home. The soldier will not spend an hour in jail. In Israel, soldiers are not imprisoned for killing Arabs. Never.”

This is a grave mischaracterization of the events.  She was not just shot wantonly as she walked to school.  I was in Israel when this happened, I remember the posters that enraged Palestinians and Israelis put up everywhere with her face, demanding justice.  In fact the only thing that was concluded at the time was that she had died, but no means of death was established right away.  She was not shot at by soldiers.  She was sadly caught in a riot between Palestinian students and some IDF border guards.  These guards may have fired rubber bullets.  The Palestinian version of events indicates that she was killed by a bullet, yet autopsy revealed she had no wounds consistent with a bullet, rubber or metal.  There are no pictures of this riot or this girl wounded at the scene or of this girl in hospital, which is odd.  Like so many issues most Israelis are polarized, some believing the IDF are responsible, some still not sure what actually happened.  That latter group is more in the right since the entire situation was so unclear.  Robert, you are purposefully accusing a soldier of murder, when no such charge was leveled by the IDF, and saying they got away with it, without even providing the full story. 

It is sooo easy to get your (american expression here) panties in a bunch from overseas over events that you are not involved in.  Live in Israel and you will see that these are not so black and white.

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By Sepharad, July 19, 2009 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, Some of the people who annually rejoice on the anniversary Yitzak Rabin’s assassination are fools, others are much worse than fools. He was a military hero, a man of great good sense, but most importantly a warrior for peace who understood how to achieve it. This is why he was murdered. As usual you are overgeneralizing: he was killed by a religious maniac—whether this man was a religious “Zionist” But this assassin was definitely part of the group of people who would lead Israel to disaster, and I would condemn him, and I’m pretty sure nefesh would too.

I’ve also read Eric Hobsbawm—his work on peasant rebels was ground-breaking in academia and inspiring to many among U.S. historians of minority politics and policies as well as the early labor movements.
Perhaps Hobsbawm himself chose his field because he is British, and though they’ve lost their empire the British still are bled dry by an obsolete royal monarchy.

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By Robert, July 19, 2009 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

By Sayeret Golani, July 18 at 8:53 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)


“I cannot believe you think that their agenda is focused ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  We are not murderers, not one a single man or woman I knew in the army was that kind of temperament.  If you want to kill people, you don’t belong in the army, you belong in an insane home.  We are all required to carry and memorize and live the values of the IDF, highest among them being that we ensure the life and dignity of all innocent people, regardless if Palestinian or Lebanese or whatever.  And all soldiers would rather have peace, trust me no one likes war, no one likes bullets.” 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IDF Soldiers Never Go to Jail for Killing Palestinian. Never.

The Murder of Abir Aramin, Nine Years Old

By NURIT PELED-ELHANAN

“How sad it is to come to the realization that the number of those who evade service in the army of occupation is so low that there is virtually no effect on the motivation of Israel’s children to put on the uniform of brutality.

Professor Stewart Cohen of Bar Ilan University consoles us by declaring that the “blame” lies in the increase in the number of Haredis who do not serve and he informs us that the army of the United States would have been happy with such a low percentage of evaders during the Vietnam war. Maybe we would do well to learn something from the Americans of the 1960s, or even from the Haredi Jews who fear for the safety of their children.

When the extent of evasion became known, I was invited onto the program of Oded Shahar, “Politika”, as a mother who will not permit her son (now 15 years old) to join the army. Apart from me, I was informed over the course of a protracted campaign of persuasion, only men were invited, most of them warmongering generals like Effie Eitam and Yossi Peled.

After I was convinced that my participation in the program would be important, I agreed. The researcher asked me why I would not allow my son to enlist. I explained to her that an army that has been involved for forty years now in systematic and growing abuse of a civilian population, (abuse that even a courageous journalist like Gideon Levy calls by the gentle name of “policing”), an army that teaches its soldiers that killing Palestinian children and those who protect them, like Rachel Corrie and James Miller, is not a crime, an army whose commanders are immune to punishment though they commit daily crimes against humanity, is not a suitable place for my son, who was brought up to love people, who has Palestinian friends, whose brothers and parents have Palestinian friends who are subjected to that same reign of terror and daily torment. After half an hour I was told that despite my contribution there were not enough seats on the stage.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest of the TRUTH about Israel’s IDF, the child killers:


“An Israeli soldier shot a nine year old daughter, Abir, in the head as she was leaving school to go home. The soldier will not spend an hour in jail. In Israel, soldiers are not imprisoned for killing Arabs. Never.”


http://www.counterpunch.org/peled08082007.html

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By Shingo, July 19, 2009 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

Sayeret Golani,

As I as have many times to Sepharad, there is no shame in admitting the subject is emotional to you,  so long as you are honest about it.  In fact, you will find that many on this forum and others will respect you and your opinions more for it.

As for America,  I said that I agreed with your criticisms, but whatever you think of America, you of all people should me mindful of how much you and Israel owe to America.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that America has gratuitously indulged Israel to the point that it’s become destructive.

The majority of Israel were behind the assault on Gaza, which was not Israel’s only option at the time, so whether Israelis would admit to an agenda of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or not, that is what their government is perpetrating.  Having said that, Israeli governments have openly advocated ethnic cleansing since Israel was born, beginning with Ben Gurion, when he said he saw no moral issue with the transfer of Arabs.  Even Simon Perez has discussed such policies openly, and now Lieberman has made such discussions common place.

People often enter the military exhibiting good temperaments, but as we have seen to often, conflict makes good killer of decent people.  When Sy Hersh reported on the Mi Lai massacre, he described the mother of one of the perpetrators as saying she gave the military a good boy and they sent back a murderer.

That’s what armies do, they kill, and every adult in Israel has been in the army.

As I explained before, statements like “all soldiers would rather have peace” are meaningless. They want peace to a point, and that point is what they are prepared to do or accept for peace.  Israel has rejected a peace initiative from 22 Arab States which offered to recognize Israel and normalize relations with Israel.  The condition being that Israel return to the 1967 Green Line.  Israel has decided it is not willing to abide by this requirement and rejected the offer. 

The support Israel receives from the US is not just the financial aid.  There is the military aid, the loan guarantees and just as importantly, the diplomatic protection at the UN.  Were it not for the US, Israel would not only be weaker and poorer, but possible on the receiving end of a boycott or perhaps even an embargo.

In fact, your explanation as to why Israel cannot allow a 2 state solution, re water, is another reason why Israel is such a problem.  What greater admission can there be that Israel’s existence is incumbent on the constant theft of resources as well as land.  What greater admission that there would be no Israel today had Israel not stolen land and seized those resources.

In fact, the water is still insufficient, so what options does that leave Israel and what are you going to say when Israel finds itself having to invade Labanon to reach the Litani? Will you still be cheering and defending Israel then, even while it is in violation of every basic international measure of decency?

You are right.  Apart from Gaza and West Bank, Palestine wants East Jerusalem for a state, and why should they not be entitled to it?

Australia is a country where water is a major issue.  It is a massive country, but because of it’s water restrictions, it can only support a small population.  Thus, Australia will ensure that it’s population will remain within a manageable range, which is the logical and responsible thing to do.
Israel on the other hand, is frantically encouraging the Jews outside of Israel to migrate there, without any regard to where the water is going to come from. Is that responsible?  Is that even moral?

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By Sepharad, July 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Sayaret, Well (and very generously) put.

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By Robert, July 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

“It’s a Trick, We Always Use It.” (calling people “anti-Semitic”)

“I’m working on a video about how extreme mainstream media is including the tricks used when covering of key domestic issues like health care.

But this video is a response to the trick repeatedly used against this channel in channel comments. It’s the the standard tactic of calling someone “anti-Semitic,” and its used to sabotage anyone who speaks out against the US government policy of supporting immoral and illegal Israeli policies which violate basic human rights. And as you can see, this person suggests using a new word for the same old trick.

Amy Goodman interviews a former Israeli minister and she helps expose this trick used against dissidents, the defamation tactic of calling people “anti-Semitic.”“

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Click on link to view Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli minister, and what she has to say about that same ole tactic of “anti-semitic” & Holocaust. We surely are seeing these tactics being used on a regular basis from the zionism’s hasbara/PR agenda group on TD:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUGVPBO9_cA

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By Sayeret Golani, July 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shingo

My criticism of others’ knowledge of history was not leveled at everyone on this page.  I do not present myself as a historical expert, clearly we all take part to learn from each other, yes?  I realize the absurdity of stating that your facts won’t change my mind, or something equivalent, but this is not an issue I can be entirely objective on, as I have lived it from many angles.  I was born in Israel, lived in California from 9 to 18 years old, then returned to Israel for 3 years to be in zahal.  Obviously I have strong feelings on the survival of a country that I have literally fought for.  And I’m afraid you may have to forgive my rant against America, but having spent much time in both countries I am more tied to Israel and more likely to view America as willfully corrupt almost uniformally.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that most Israeli’s are in denial about where the government leads them, people there are even more skeptical of their leaders than in the states, but honestly, I cannot believe you think that their agenda is focused ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  We are not murderers, not one a single man or woman I knew in the army was that kind of temperament.  If you want to kill people, you don’t belong in the army, you belong in an insane home.  We are all required to carry and memorize and live the values of the IDF, highest among them being that we ensure the life and dignity of all innocent people, regardless if Palestinian or Lebanese or whatever.  And all soldiers would rather have peace, trust me no one likes war, no one likes bullets.  Oh and 2 things more- I have not retreated from the discussion, I am smart enough to enjoy having my views challenged, but I don’t have all time in the world to post on here.  Also that Israel would not be where it is without America, true, but I think Israel could easily stand on her own without this money etc from the states, and I wonder why that hasn’t been made more apparent.


Folktruther

I like your first post responding to me, I wish it was easier to explain why a two-state solution is not practical no matter how much I wish it were so.  Mostly understand this- Israel cannot afford to give up control of any water.  Water, not earth, is the key to control of the region.  Water is a constantly drained resource and Israel is THE desert.  Palestinians want more than the Gaza and West Bank for a state, but what land supplied with what water will they occupy?

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By Folktruther, July 18, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Shingo, this is the part that is insane.  Sepharad, Nefish, etc do NOT support the survival of Israel. 
What they support is Israeli imperialism, Israeli power.  They support policies that are DESTROYING Israel.

Just as the Zealots of ancient Judea killed both Romans and the Jews who supported a concilatory policy to the Romans.  The murder of Rabin was not an historical aberration, it was a religious murder.  And there are Zionists in Israel who celebrate the murderer’s birthday every year under the prison walls.

Zionists like Sepharad and Nefish are criminally insane.  they are homicidal maniacs politically.  Like the anchient Zealots, they are determined to go to war with the whole world to continue ethnic cleansing.  And Israel has nuclear weapons.

this kind of megolamania is common to imperialsm acording to the Britsh historian Eric Hobsbawm (who is Jewish.) It led the Japanese to attack the US and the Nazies to attack the Soviet Union.  That is why it is not farfetched to fear that Israel will attack Iran.  Their leadership is politically insane.  and the American leaders don’t feel too good either.

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By Sepharad, July 18, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Singo, of course Inherit is not a fanatic, and neither am I. Neither of us backs anyone who wants to hang on to all Judea and the concept of a “Greater Israel” or the religious nuts, or erasing the Palestinian Arab civilization. If you see no progress, or see it as all smoke and mirrors, and this in spite of a leader who wants no military second Palestinian state, then I’d have to say you are the fanatic, not I. Training and financing of the Palestinian military is happening as we speak, in Amman, economics are improving ... Netanyahu may not want a second state with a military but he’s not going to be able to stop it. Too late.

I think you’d find Inherit as paranoid as I am if you ask him, and yes, he is a pragmatist. He commented on another site, I think the Iran one, that Jews are not alone in there paranoia, and I’d agree with that as well.

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By Shingo, July 18, 2009 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Israel will also say anything to gain an advantage, and there are mountains of evidence to prove it.  So where does that leave us?  Hamas are liars, Israel are liars, so let’s do nothing.  Is that you idea of a solution?

Be honest Sepharad, you suport the status quo.  That is why you continue to insist that Israel is in danger, becasue it’s become Israel’s rasinon d’etre.

The only ray of light on the West Bank will be the dismantling of settlements, or at the very least, an acceptance by the settlers to live under a sovereign Palestinia government.  Until then, everything is smoke and mirrors. 

The niotion that a Palestinian military is a solution is delusional.  Netanyahu refuses to accept a Palestinian state with a military capacity, so you have a massive contradiction.  These Orwellian standards were apparent in Lebanon.  While Israel were bombing Lebanese military bases and facilities, they were demanding that the Lebanese military hold Hezbollah in check. 

That’s the psychosis that has infiltrated Israeli leaders and it’s supporters.

Netanyahu hasn’t even begun to freeze settlements.  He’s playing the world for fools.  Settlements are growing.  The outposts he claims to be freezing were supposed to have been dismantled aleady.  It’s all a fraud and a lie, and here you are, accusing Hamas of saying anything to gain advantage. Unbelievable!!

The Israelis only want peace under their conditions, meaning, no Palestinian state, new settlements and existing one growing, Gaza blockaded.  22 Arabs states happen to want peace and have proposed an initiative to secure peace.  Israel rejected those conditions, so Israel may want peace, but not that badly.  So Israel reject peace, insist they have no partner for peace and then is propagandists then claim Israel is threatended with destruction.  So predictable.

I would never Inherit the Wind as fanatical as you, Sayaret and nefesh .  He is a pragmatist who has demonstrated genuine objectivity on this subject and regard for the facts.
 
This has anything to do with the Holocaust.  In spite of having had nothing to do with that crime, the Palestinians have been paying for it is for 60 years.  If you insist on using that as justification for everything Israel does, then Israel is headed for disaster because it will continue to move further to the right and become increasingly isolated, even from it’s friends.

No one can threaten Israel Sepharad. It is not 1939. The Jews had no state, the 4th largest military apparatus, and a massive and unconditional support network.  The so called enemy is a 3rd world stateless bunch of thugs who can’t lay a finger on Israel.

Arguing that Israel is trying to doing a little better in 2009 that the US did prior to the 1900’s is a farcical.  There was no concept of human rights back then, nor any such this as justice for indigenous peoples. We regarded them as heathens and white settlers believed that what they were doing was in the interest of the natives.

Society the world over has grown up, faced it’s sins and moved on, so Israel does not get a pass for doing a little better than then.  Every Westerner acknowledges that what was done was genocide, a source of shame and made important steps towards compensation.  Israel is still stuck in denial and erasing evidence of the Palestinian civlization.

We put Israel under a microscope because, not only has it been an ongoing saga for 60 years, but because we have enabled this outrage every step of the way.  We have created a monster that has lost it’s moral, human and spiritual compass.  Israel has been the central fissure that divides the West from the Middle East.  If we didn’t know it before, 911 brought the conflict to our doorstep.

Stop making this about America.  You are resorting got the same dishonest tactic that Sayaret tried.  America is a mess indeed, but these problems have nothing to do with Israel.

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By Robert, July 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

July 17-19, 2009

Wiping Arabic Names Off the Map
Israeli Road Signs

By JONATHAN COOK

“Thousands of road signs are the latest front in Israel’s battle to erase Arab heritage from much of the Holy Land.

Israel Katz, the transport minister, announced this week that signs on all major roads in Israel, East Jerusalem and possibly parts of the West Bank would be “standardised”, converting English and Arabic place names into straight transliterations of the Hebrew name.

Currently, road signs include the place name as it is traditionally rendered in all three languages.

Under the new scheme, the Arab identity of important Palestinian communities will be obscured: Jerusalem, or “al Quds” in Arabic, will be Hebraised to “Yerushalayim”; Nazareth, or “al Nasra” in Arabic, the city of Jesus’s childhood, will become “Natzrat”; and Jaffa, the port city after which Palestine’s oranges were named, will be “Yafo”.

Arab leaders are concerned that Mr Katz’s plan offers a foretaste of the demand by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

On Wednesday, Mohammed Sabih, a senior official at the Arab League, called the initiative “racist and dangerous”.

“This decision comes in the framework of a series of steps in Israel aimed at implementing the ‘Jewish State’ slogan on the ground.”

Palestinians in Israel and Jerusalem, meanwhile, have responded with alarm to a policy they believe is designed to make them ever less visible.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator in the Israeli parliament, said: “Minister Katz is mistaken if he thinks that changing a few words can erase the existence of the Arab people or their connection to Israel.”

The transport ministry has made little effort to conceal the political motivation behind its policy of Hebraising road signs.

In announcing the move on Monday, Mr Katz, a hawkish member of Likud, Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing party, said he objected to Palestinians using the names of communities that existed before Israel’s establishment in 1948.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/cook07172009.html

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By Robert, July 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, July 18 at 12:12 am #


“But re the morality and discipline of the IDF, I’d still rate them pretty much at the top—certainly light-years more civilized and decent than Hamas and Hezbollah.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sepharad ... Your zionism ‘s PR deceptiveness is so transparent. Your attempts with your Israeli/zionism’s PR agenda is NOT sticking. You are scraping the molds at the bottom of your stinking pot.


IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. EVEN WITH A THOUSAND WORDS, HOW CAN ONE DESCRIBE THE LOOK IN THE EYES OF A 13 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN BOY BEING USED BY ISRAEL’S IDF AS A “HUMAN SHIELD” ?


THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS THAT THERE ARE SOME STORIES & TRUTHS THAT CAN ONLY BE TOLD WITH PICTURES.


Take a look & read/see the TRUTH about Israel’s child killers, the IDF:


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1018

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By Sepharad, July 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, Hamas will say anything to gain an advantage, however slight. Talk about the “lies and the lying liars who tell them…” Same for Hezbollah.

There is a small ray of light on the West Bank for the first time in a long time, and when the Palestinian military and police get a little more experience under their belt you going to see more checkpoints come down. If Netanyahu keeps his promise to help get the Palestinian economy moving, that will help. He still has to be pushed—hard—by Israeli opposition, the U.S. and Britain to get more settlements torn down, put the resisting settlers in jail if that’s what it takes. If Mitchell can push him to political changes, that would be even better but there has to be a decent infrastructure so the West Bank can continue to deliver jobs and money to its people. If Hamas is OK with a second state, fine. I know they are not, just trying to look good, but if they have anything to contribute let them. The Israelis want peace more than you do.

If you think I and Sayaret and nefesh and even Inherit the Wind are all paranoid and need to feel that way, think it. Jews in Europe thought they were fine, assimilated, everyone said so. Can’t afford that huge mistake again. Better to be careful, and watchful and skeptical, in Israel’s current position. The proof of this is that you believe—you must or you wouldn’t be telling me the fear for Israel’s safety is not justified—that Israel is safe.

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By Sepharad, July 17, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, I don’t think I’ve been dishonest with you, as I have never suggested, in any way, that I do NOT support the survival of Israel. But I don’t think I’ve said that because the U.S. and every other country in the world stole, murdered, oppressed, did—still does—whatever is/was necessary to achieve its national goals, such behavior justifies Israel doing the same. In fact Israel is trying to do better than the bloody 19th-21st centuries, and probably would be in much better shape with less trauma if it weren’t for oil. That single resource has screwed up Middle Eastern politics since the Saudis went looking for water and found petroleum. When all is said and done, I think Israel has much less to answer for than the manipulative Western countries that—not in their formative stages but the the past century right up to the present day—have despoiled the Middle East and the environment and the economy and the lives of the rest of the world. And are still hard at it.

We put Israel under such a moral microscope partly because we can’t look that closely at ourselves. Many among the liberals say that they disapprove of this or that but what, in the end, so far, changes have come about? Living conditions for more people in this country were better under Nixon than after Bill Clinton. We can afford to talk and talk and talk about these things because we are pretty safe. We have a margin. Israel has no margin and is not safe. How can they fulfill their responsibilities to the Palestinians when they can’t guarantee their own safety? Even so there is progress on the West Bank. Even under Netanyahu. And that is freaking amazing.

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By Shingo, July 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

“I find it amazing that soldiers who are trying to protect their country within striking distance of fanatical Islamists whose goal is the destruction of Israel and all the Jews in it, are able to serve so so well, most of the time without hatred”

What I find amazing is that given that Hamas support a 2 state solution and have endorsed the Arab Peace Initiative, and that Hezbollah are not an issue so long as Israel stays on it’s aide of the Israel/Lebanon border, that you still believe this propaganda.

Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if Zionists like yourself refuse to let go of the doomsday scenarios you concoct, because it’s become so ingrained into your identity and psyche that you’d be lost without it.

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By Sepharad, July 17, 2009 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Robert, you’re right: several months ago I said that IDF soldiers were about as moral as soldiers get, and also that I doubted Israel was using white phosophorous on civilians, at least not in a dangerous form because on film clips I could see the IDF soldiers moving through a fog of white phospherous, not wearing gas masks, and assumed that it was not the same white phosphorous that would be dropped as an explosive.

But re the morality and discipline of the IDF, I’d still rate them pretty much at the top—certainly light-years more civilized and decent than Hamas and Hezbollah. The things that some Israeli soldiers did was REPORTED by IDF soldiers, to an academic who gave them a public forum that led to an investigation and now, other soldiers are talking more about what happened in Gaza, why, and how. I find it amazing that soldiers who are trying to protect their country within striking distance of fanatical Islamists whose goal is the destruction of Israel and all the Jews in it, are able to serve so so well, most of the time without hatred. They are not perfect, there are some soldiers who cross the line, but not nearly as often, or as badly, as any sane person might expect in such a long-term, tense, life or death confrontation.

You must lead a very sheltered life.

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By Shingo, July 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Sayeret is speaking from a position that that he admits he refuses to question.  His post was filled with false talking points that I suspect he deliberately included, but like many Zionists,  hoped he would get away with. 

He had the arrogance to suggest no one on the list knew anything about Israeli history, yet when I challenged his argument, he immediately retreated.  That’s not good faith, that’s blatant dishonesty.

He then went on to trash America, which is all well and good, unless of course, you are a state who’s very existence rests on the suport of America and a state that demands protection and uncondtional support from them.

Let Isreal stand on it’s own, buy it’s own weapons, and defend itself at the UN, and then Sayeret can say all he wants about America.

While there obviously people in Israel who are more informed than we are, but I have read to many reports, and heard too many first hand accounts that depict a population that is clearly in denial and willfully ignorant.  What more can an Israeli who has never visited the West Bank know that you or I?

Sayeret himself admitted that he has a position that will not be dissuaded by logic, reason or facts and I suspect he represents a great many Israelis in that regard.

Conditions in the West Bank are clearly better than they are in Gaza, which is to be expectet. The West Bank is populated by Jewish settlements, which Israel heavily subsidizes.  It also happens to be that Israel is not blockading the West Bank, which as we saw with Iraq, is incredibly debilitating for any economy.

There is less reason for checkpoints in the cities when Arabs are not even able to access them.
Propaganda is easily decipherable from facts. 

There is a difference between conflicting opinions and denying fundamental realities.  For example, there are those who deny the Holocaust.  Surely you would not suggest that these opinions be given equal weight to the overwhelming consensus?  Surely you would not recommend that people read books that support this position? The same goes for the Israeli/Palestine conflict.

The literature surrounding the state of Israel, nation of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Ottoman empire is not nearly as complicated as Israel’s supporters would have us believe.  The argument that it impossible to find a consensus is one used by those in denial.  China uses the same arguments when it is criticized for it human rights violations.  They’re argument is that no one outside of China understands the problem or has the right to an opinion.

You yourself recently cited the most disingenuous of all arguments.  That because the US and other countries have a checkered human rights record, albeit one that ended centiries ago, that Israel should be afforded it’s own formative period of genocide and human rights abuse, as thought to suggest this is an inevitable stage in the evolution of a modern state.  This is an appalling and incredulous argument and like I said, I am disappointed and surprised that someone like you would even allude to such a justification.

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By Sepharad, July 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, sorry I disappoint you, but Sayeret Golani is speaking from the inside of a situation that is clearly understood by him, and speaking in good faith. He has a much better understanding of what Israelis do and do not want than I do because he lives there 24/7.

He knows that people in Israel are arguing probably with more informed perspectives than ours. He knows Avigdor Lieberman is a nut job. He probably knew before we did (as I just saw it in the NYTimes this a.m.) that the West Bank economy is up 7%, Israeli troops are pulling some of the checkpoints out of the cities, people in Nablus are flocking to a movie house to see “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The Palestinian army was able to defeat the Hamas militants in Quaquilya, Israeli and Palestinian soldiers are not shooting each other, and confidence of Palestinians in Fatah is higher than in Hamas.

There is a problem with the region’s history, in that so much of it is conflicting with the other side, one man’s Zionist propaganda is another’s Arab propaganda, we can argue forever quoting endless numbers of authors and observers. Right now my husband’s reading a book called “Horse Soldiers” (re Afghanistan in the Northern Alliance days) and there are in other books by people who have been there conflicting information, different perspectives, etc. This is not a reason to stop reading, but it is a reason to consider that people may not always agree with what you’ve read. I used to think it was so much harder to research Al Andalus and the Reconquista and conquistadors because there is damned little written material that is not written by the winners—but there were ways to get around that, places to find concrete documents, memoirs etc. The literature surrounding the state of Israel, nation of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Ottoman empire and all the rest is not just fulsome, it makes it impossible to find a consensus based on it.   


If we spent as much time trying to change our own country as we do trying to change Israel, where the challenges to the population, both Arab and Jew, are much greater, it would be time better spent.

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By Shingo, July 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

Excellent post.

Since when has Nefesh ever supported a 2 state solution?

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By Folktruther, July 17, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Sayeret, I appreciate your honesty.  It mirrors those of many, perhaps most, American jews who are conflicted about Israel. And your statement, that Shingo’s history may debunk your history but it won’t change your view, is proably true.  Like most Israelis you want peace but, fearing destruction, support war.

Don’t change your view then, change your policy.  Do you think peace is going to occur historically through ethnic cleansing of palestinians?  Do you think it is going to occur by bombing Lebanon, Syria or Iran?  That is what Israeli leaders, following the US lead, are doing, whatever bullshit they say publically. 

All rulers lie to their people, but in Israel it may well be fatal.  It is not only necessary to oppose the US power structure, but the Isreali power structure as well.  They all support war and ethnic cleansing, from Lieberman to Peace Now.

Their support for a Two State Solution is a fraud, like those of Nefesh and Sepharad. They really support endless Peace Process negotiation while continuing ethnic cleansing.  The Palestinians know this, as do most Muslims.  But until the Americans and Israelis know it, US-Israeli policy will continue its sucidal and murderous historical way to disaster.

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Sayeret,

Part 1 of 2

I am sure you don’t regard yourself as a fanatic. Fanatics never do.

I don’t expect that I will change your ming.  Zionists do not base their beliefs on facts or new information, but on ideology. 

There is more debate on this issue than there is in the US yes. In fact, what is typically regarded as debate in Israel has been attacked as anti semitic in the US, but there are signs that this is changing. Until now, the Israeli lobby in the US has been to the right of Israel and more extreme in it’s ideology, but with the advent of Netenyahu/Lierberman, that equation has been reversed.  Even Israel’s staunchest supporters are being much more cautious about their attempts to stifle debate.

Even the tired old notion that Israel is a democracy is being questioned.  After all, one cannot be a democracy and a Jewish state at the same time, especially with it’s apartheid policies.

The poor rights of women in Middle eastern countries is well known , but irrelevant to the debate we’re having.  The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza enjoy very few freedoms, and have been denied self determination by Israel.

It is true that the dictatorships are supported by America, just as Israel is.  I would have expected the fact that Israel keeps such bad company to be a point of shame.  You may believe that America is the laughable, whatever that means, but your contempt for Israel’s greatest enabler only serves to highlight the arrogance of Israel and the contempt they hold for it’s greatest ally. Were it not for the US, Israel would be a struggling 3rd world country, impoverished, vulnerable, diplomatically isolated and far more humble.
Yes, Americans have elected idiots, as Israel has done in the most recent elections.  Netenyahu is considered an extremist and even worse, an incompetent one.  Lieberman is regarded as a fascist, even in Israel.
Whether Obama is able to effect real change remains to be seen.  He is after all, just a politician, and has to make many compromises in his position. Having said that , he was handed a country that was left in ruins by the previous administration.
What is the challenge in surviving in Israel for one month?  It’s no different than surviving in any other country.  Lieberman represents a large enough portion of Israelis to have outpolled even Israel’s founding party, Labor, so he is representative of an radical shift in Israeli politics.

Unlike Lieberman, Bachmann and Sessions don’t belong to the ruling party, and their own party lies in disarray. Yes, America did allowed itself to be taken over by Christian theocrats, which is why support for Israel reached a fever pitch.  Now the same thing is happening with Zionst extremists in Israel – hence the rise of Lieberman.  Fortunately, the Christians have lost out in America.

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

Sayeret,

Part 2 of 2

I agree with all your criticisms about America, but America is not the topic of this thread. I know you want to derail the discussion, but I’m not going to let you.

Israel receives much attention for a number of reasons. Firstly, Israel’s lobby groups are among the most powerful in the US and demand that law makers swear allegiance to Israel.  They demand that law makers travel to Israel and demand that Israel be given massive aid, subsidies, arms and protection.  Israel is constantly putting pressure in Washington to lean on it’s enemies and protect it from diplomatic and political scrutiny at the UN.

Israel is like a spoiled child that demands attention, and gets it. 

So when Americans “dump on Israel” it’s because they are asking themselves what are we getting for our taxpayer money and unconditional support for this tiny little trouble making state in the Middle East?
You are right.  Americans don’t know SH*T about Israel. If they did, they would be disgusted and demand that Israel be brought to account and forced to behave itself. 

Saying that Israelis want to end violence is meaningless. Hitler would have been more than happy to achieve his aims without firing a single bullet.
What matters are the conditions.  Israel has had countless opportunities to have peace, but has always chosen land, expansion and regional dominance over peace.  22 Arab states have offered to recognize Israel as per the 1967 border and to normalize relations with Israel.  The offer made no mention of wanting to destroy Israel.  Israel rejected it.

Hamas have backed a 2 state solution and Israel now rejects that too.  When Hamas proposed a long ceasefire, Israel’s so called dove, Tzipi Livni said that an extended ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests.
That tells us everything we need to know about the peace that Israel want.

Last year, there was a ceasefire for 4 months.  Israel violated that ceasefire on the 4th of November with an attack on Gaza that killed 6 Palestinians. There had been no rocket attacks in 4 months.  That wasn’t self defense or fighting back, it was a deliberate provocation because as Livni told us, a long ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests.

A rapist cannot claim he is defending himself when the victim tries to fight back.  Yes, Israel frequently pummels the Palestinians because that’s what thugs do.

There is no danger of Israel being destroyed.  No state in the region is a threat to Israel, including Iran.  Israel’s government pretends that everything represents an existential threat, which is just a lie to justify their naked aggression. 

What you’ve learned is what you’ve been told and what you’ve been told is believe that Israel is a victim that means well.  Until you question that and the fact that Israel has lost it’s soul, there is no chance you will change your view.

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By Sayeret Golani, July 16, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shingo

First of all I am not a Zionist fanatic. I appreciate your history lesson, honestly.  You certainly have presented a more detailed account of the last 60 years than I am able to in the time that I have to waste on these discussions.  I intend to verify everything you have posted, and perhaps much of it is true.  But you are not changing my mind.  In Israel there is more debate on this issue among the general population than there ever is on ANY issue in the US.  In Israel there is REAL debate that is not interrupted with the kind of American BS that you like to see on television.  There is no “comedian insults former VP candidates daughter- tonight at 11”.  THAT is laughable.  You say Israel laughably considers itself a beacon?  When it is the only democracy in a region with dozens of dictatorships?  In a region where women are not allowed to drive, leave the house alone, expose their faces, read?  Oh and by the way that’s in the countries that the American presidents are all very good friends with.  AMERICA is the laughable nation.  Americans don’t know balls about their own country and they elect complete idiots to represent their “best interests”.  Even the supremely intelligent President Obama is unable to effect real change.  You try surviving in Israel for one month, really.  Avigdor Leiberman is a nutjob.  No doubt.  But he represents only a small portion of Israelis, kind of how we all hope that people like Michelle Bachmann and Jefferson Sessions only represent a very small number of really stupid Americans.  America allowed itself to be taken over by Christian theocrat for the last near-decade, quite the brilliant move.  People love to believe in America, because they live there, and just complain about the things America doesn’t provide them- healthcare, clean energy, a strong middle class- but then they dump on Israel because they think it’s their job to police the actions of the rest of the world, ESPECIALLY in the Middle East.  Americans don’t know SH*T about Israel.  Israelis do NOT want to kill Palestinians.  Even if Ben Gurion himself was a bloodthirsty land-grabber, as you are portraying him, the people today want an end to violence.  The problem is that Arabs only want an end to the violence after they’ve destroyed Israel.  And we are to do what?  Not fight?  Not pummel them into realizing that they cannot beat the IDF?  I feel for the Palestinians, I wish this situation was not where it is, but I feel more strongly in the belief that Israel cannot be allowed to be destroyed.  That’s it.  All of your history may debunk all of my history, I don’t know for sure, I only know what I have learned so far.  But it won’t change my view.

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By Robert, July 16, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Shingo,

You should NOT be disappointed by sepharad’s zionist dishonesty. She is Israel/Zionism PR representative & she thinks that her deceptive PR skills are a way to sway and divert readers from the TRUTH about Israel’s nazi policies & its brutal killers, the IDF.

Shepharad was commenting several months ago that Israel had a most moral IDF/army & that white phosphorus was NOT used/doubting by Israel’s IDF on Palestinian civilians in GAZA.

One can see right through sepharad’s zionist PR deceptions & dishonesty. She would love to see more fanatic zionists posting on these forums in support of zionism’s ethnic cleansing.

FT sees her deceptions & calls her out for all to see.

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

The size of Israel is irrelvant. 

Big or small, it has no right behave like a terror state or steal and massacre populations.

What would benefit everyone would be for Israel to return the land that it stole, stop threatening it’s neighbors and stop demanding that it be treated like gold.

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By Howard, July 16, 2009 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

Israel is a little tiny microscopic country;  Rhode Island is bigger. Leave ‘em alone. If their arab neighbors would be friendly instead of trying to eradicate them; why the arab countries would more than benefit.

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

I am constantly disappointed by your dishonesty.  When you are held in check, you appear very reasonable, but as soon as a Zionist propagandist comes to this list and spouts tired and debunked myths, you seem to switch into Hasbara mode.

The reason so many are outrages about Israel is because they know that it is US support, aid, arms and diplomatic protection afforded to Israel that enables Israel to behave to appallingly.

Sayeret’s last sentence is far from true and you know it. Te Palestinians had a thriving and industrious community at the turn of the century, so how can you pretend not to know it?

The left, which I will remind you, is the side most Jews identify with ideologically are sickened at Israel’s brutality and cruelty. The rest of the world is beginning to feel the same way, which is why Israel’s reputation is falling like a stone and losing support even among Jews and Evangelicals.

There is no point comparing Israel to American history because Americans have learned from the atrocities they have committed, acknowledged it and sworn to never let it happen again.

Israel, who laughably likes to think of itself as a beacon of light to the world, cannot therefore insist that as a Western style democracy, it should be given latitude to annihilate an indigenous population while it grows up.  Israelis already know what they are doing is wrong.  They knew it from before Israel was even realized.

Europeans and Americans have helped Israel immensely and given Israel enormous leeway and latitude. As such, Israel has become a lawless rogue state that believes it is immune from consequence and retribution.

Speaking of fundamentalists, Israel has now been taken over by the same problem, with fundamentalists like Lieberman and Netenyahu leading the state.  When these guys won the election, people like you were almost apologetic and clearly embarrassed, but as time has gone on, you’ve overcome those sentiments and just shifted further to the right.  Today, Zionists like you would probably consider Lieberman and Netenyahu to be moderates.

The sad fact is that you and Sayeret are indeed alone and becoming increasingly isolated.  I only hope for your sake, and for Israel’s, that you wake up to yourselves.

Do not lose heart. You are not alone. But on this particular website, you will see the faces many an enemy.

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

Sayeret Golani

Just in case you’re in any doubt as to who’s faulthte 800,000 Palestinian refugees is.

In 1938 Menachem Ussishkin commented on the partition plan proposed by the British Peel Commission in 1937:

  “We cannot begin the Jewish state with population of which the Arab living on their lands constitute almost half and the Jews exists on the land in very small numbers and they are all crowded in Tel Aviv and its vicinity .... and the WORST is not only the [Palestinian] Arabs here constitute 50 percent or 45 percent but 75 percent of the land is in the hands of the [Palestinian] Arabs. Such a state cannot survive even for half an hour ..... The question is not whether they will be majority or a minority in Parliament. You know that even a small minority could disrupt the whole order of parliamentary life….. therefore I would say to the [Peel] Commission and the government that we would not accept reduced Land of Israel without you giving us the land, on the one hand, and removing the largest number of [Palestinian] Arabs-particularly the peasants- on the other before we come forward to take the reins of government in our lands even provisionally.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 111-112; see also Righteous Victims, p. 143-144)

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Part 1 od 2.

Sayeret Golani, what you delivered is blatant Zionist propaganda. Allow me to correct you.

The Israeli founders never accepted the 1948 partition.  Ben Gurion told the world that the founders would verbally accept the partition, but later ignore it when he said in 1936.

“The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Transjordan; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today. But the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.”

Israel is the only State admitted to UN membership on condition that it would be obedient to the world body and be bound, more specifically, by two General Assembly resolutions – of November 1947 for partition of Palestine and of December 1948 enshrining the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or be satisfied with compensation.

A document on UN record, dated 29 November 1948, reads: “On behalf of the State of Israel, I, Moshe Shertok, Minister for Foreign Affairs, being duly authorised by the State Council of Israel, declare that the State of Israel hereby unreservedly accepts the obligation of the UN Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a Member of the United Nations.” Four days after Israel had been accepted by UN as one of its members, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared in the Knesset that UN’s Palestine partition resolution no longer held any moral force because the Arabs had violated it and for Israel the resolution was “null and void” as far as Jerusalem was concerned.

The Zionists needed a UN resolution as a birth certificate for their State and a second one to attain UN membership or the mark of the minimum in international respectability. Once they thought they had overcome all doubts about the legitimacy or viability of their State, they no longer needed the United Nations, currently the main source of international law.

Israel has been condemned or censured by UN many hundreds of times for its lawlessness and for going back on its words but no leader in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem has ever betrayed any concern. Some Israelis have even taken to calling its legal creator its enemy.

Before the Jews arrived, Palestine was already a thriving community with infrastructure.  In 1906, Jews were only 12% of the population.  While WWII raged, and Jews were being slaugtered, the early Zionists collaborated with the Nazi affiliated fascists in Italy to drive out the British. 

By the time the 1948 war came along, the Zionist terror groups were attacking Palestinians and British troops.  They committed the Deir Yassin massacre and blew up the Kind David Hotel. Some members of the Stern Gang were also planning to set off bombs in London .

The leaders of the terror gangs went on to become Prime Ministers of Israel, proving the Arab world that terrorism does work.

The   800,000 0Palestinian refuges were the result of a concerted and pre planned campaign to drive out them out.

One of the most ardent Zionists, Israel Zangwill, stated as early as 1905 that:

“Palestine proper has already its inhabitants. The pashalik of Jerusalem is already twice as thickly populated as the United States, having fifty-two souls to the square mile, and not 25% of them Jews ..... [We] must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedan and accustomed for centuries to despise us.” (Righteous Victims, p. 140 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7-10)

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By Shingo, July 16, 2009 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

Sayeret Golani

Part 2 of 2

The problem for Israel was that as of 1948, the Arabs owner 50% of the land and the Jews only 7%, so and given that the Palestinians were not going to sell, the only way to secure a Jewish majority was to steal their land and rive them out. 

The Palestinians were never going to be assimilated into Arab states because they were not their brethren.  Their homes we rein Israel and they had not been compensated.

In 1967 Israel attacked it’s neighbors based on al false pretence.  Israel had been trying to lure Nasser into a war since 1955, but Nasser never took the bait. As Menachen Begin told the world. Nasser was never going to attack Israel.  Israel also attacked and tried to sink a US Ship, the USS Liberty, which was in international waters off the coast, probably to prevent the ship listening into the ir plans to massacre 1000 Egyptians in the Negev Desert.

In spite of the advice of Theodore Meron, Israel’s highest authority on international law, that building settlements in the occupied territories breaches the 4th Geneva Convention, Israel proce3ed anyway.

Seizing new territory during war is not legitimate.  Israel eventually handed back the Sinai to Egypt after nearly losing the 1973 war.

In spite of the PLO renouncing violence and recognizing Israel,  Israel continue to stall meeting it’s obligations.  It helps to create and finance Hamas to weaken the PLO and dilute the Palestinian leadership.

Israel’s security barrier in not a fence, but a 10m high wall.  It not only violates international agreements, but international law. 

The fact that other nations had a history of genocide gong back centuries, it is no justification for Israel doing the same in the 20th century. Of course, countries like the US and Australia have acknowledged their evils and have paid massive reparations, whereas Israel denies it’s sins, and continues to insist the land was their all along because the Judeans inhabited the land thousands of years ago.

Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory and as such, the Palestinians have every legitimate right to resist occupation.

The Arabs already had a nation of their own back in 1914 that was a thriving community and civilization.  Israel stole it from them
The moment Lord Baflour signed the declaration and the UN manifested it’s partition, there wa no way any of this was going to be averted.

http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2009/01/a-land-without-a-people.html

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By TheHandyman, July 16, 2009 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

I am no longer suprised when I see how some Americans have buried their heads in the sand when it comes to Isreal. People like Sayeret Golani come along and speak Jewish revisionist history and then others like Sepharad come along and sympathize with them. The Jews wear their alleged persecution as if it were some god given mantle that allows them to rape, pillage, and plunder anywhere and anyone they want to and when the rest of the world admonishes them they scream antisemites and point to the holocaust memorials to remind the world what they were subjected to. They have become an excuse for all their bad behavior. The Jewish Government and the people who elected it have morphed into that that which they fear the most, the Third Reich. What the Jews of Isreal have done to the Palestinians is only slightly less than what the Germans did to them in Europe. Something is seriously wrong when Jews are allowed to kill Palestinians in great numbers with massive military might, supplied at the American taxpayers expense I might add, and any criticism is once again labeled as being antisemetic.

This is not to say that neither side is without blame. But the Jews have killed Palestinians in far greater measure than the other way around. And I can truthfully say that if I were a Palestinian and I was being treated this way I would do everything I could to destroy Isreal too. The Jews have made war on the Arab people of that area from the moment they decided to take by force that which was not theirs. The fact that they want a Jewish State is proof of what they have done for over 50 years and no amount of PR or revisionist history can prove otherwise!

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Hopwdully, Sepharad, you will see and increasing number of the faces of your enemies.

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By Sepharad, July 15, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Sayaret Golani, you will never change these peoples’ minds. They have seen little outside of their own country, understand less, and feel virtuous condemning Israel because it’s easier than changing the country they live in. Your last sentence is true, but will go unheard and probably not even understood. I am an American Jew, I’m not religious, but I love Israel, have family and friends (including Arab friends) there, and understand that the problems are deep and difficult. It’s the same as in this country, but many people—especially on the so-called progressive left—take pleasure in puffing themselves up and ordering the world around—not just Israel, but because Israel is trying to maintain a Jewish majority they feel it is racist. Compared to our American history, Israel is amazingly patient under circumstances not one of these people understand or want to understand. You are also up against what Edward Said described as “orientalism”. Many left-leaning Americans are into exotica—they like the strage and different, and like the old time elitists in the U.S. State Deparment are also “Arabists” though for different reasons. In his book “Please Help Us to Divorce”, Amos Oz very clearly defined the problems Israelis and Palestinians have, the difficulty and painful choices they have ahead of them, and simply asked that Europeans and Americans understand this and help. I doubt anyone who’s posted here has bothered to read that small book though I’ve recommended it many times. Israel is not perfect. Our America is not perfect. Arabs are not perfect—especially the fundamentalists that believe the only good Jew is a dead Jew. Do not lose heart. You are not alone. But on this particular website, you will see the faces many an enemy.

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Sayeret,as a Zionist lemming I don’t expect you to have any kind of decent moral sensibility, but you might understand that Israel’s policy is not only murderous, it is sucicidal.  It cannot function effectiely in the modeern world.

The difference between the US being founded on ethnic cleansing and slavery and Israel’s murderous ethnic cleansing is two centuries.  The world has moved on, the non-White races have increased their power, and that kind of thing is not tolerated anymore over historical time.

As Isreal moves further to the right, the world moves further to the left and there is much more world than their is Israel.  Calling anyone who opposes the Isreali starvation blockade, the blowing up of Palesitnian homes, the torture of Palestinian children, as being anti-Semitic may satisfy the Zionists, but if you will notice, there is getting to be fewer and fewer of you.  Decent people can’t stomach the horrors that you sanitize, and this will occur more and more over time.

I know you can’t feel, but try to think.  If you wanat Israel to survive.

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By Sayeret Golani, July 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Forgive me, but you don’t seem to know your history very well.  1947- UN Gen. Assembly Resolution 181 partitions Israel into two states- one Jewish, one Arab.  Jews begin building the infrastructure of their state, Arabs begin preparing to attack Jews.  1948- Brits leave, Arab armies attack Israel, resulting in 650,000 Palestinian refugees (this is the fault of Israel how?) 1967- In the nearly 40 years since the Independence War, the hundreds of thousands of refugees have not been assisted by their Arab brethren.  Israel launches pre-emptive war against Egypt, Jordan, Syria in the face of intelligence indicating their intentions of destroying Israel.  Israel wins this war handily, occupying new territory(that’s what happens in war)- much of which is given back in exchange for “peace.” 1988- As soon as the PLO renounces violence and recognizes Israel, Hamas is formed.  2000- Protesting Arabs are shot by Israeli police, a black mark against Israel. January 17th, 2009- Israel ends offensive military operations in Gaza. 

I will grant you that Israel’s security fence violates international agreements.  Also that Israel has not always been the righteous nation that she should be, but then again, the United States was founded on a bedrock of genocide (the Native Americans) and slavery (Africans) and yet you don’t see Native Americans still trying to bomb government buildings and take land back.  What is the difference between the often whitewashed beginnings of America (land of the free, oh except for our slaves, and home of the brave because we were really good at slaughtering an indigenous people who were less technologically advanced) and the inflated accounts of Israel’s displacement of Palestinians in becoming independent countries?  If the Arabs had taken the time to build a nation for themselves way back in 1947, instead of biding their time to attack Israel, perhaps this all might have been averted.

http://www.cmep.org/documents/Timeline.htm

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By peedeecee, July 15, 2009 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Israel has become arrogant beyond belief - not only slaughtering Palestinians, encroaching on their territory, refusing humanitarian relief of the Palestinians’ plight, but now actually jeering, taunting, and flagrantly bullying. As well as the map incident, an Israeli cellphone company ran a commercial lightheartedly showing the wall that divides Israel and the Palestinians, while taking an additional 10% of Palestinian land. Here is the ad, and the controversy it caused:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2009/07/israeli-cell-phone-company-in-hot-water-over-ad-featuring-wall.html

This country of self-righteous bullies would not exist without the financial and weapons support of the US. It is time to level the playing field over there.

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By joesain, July 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On my tour, the government “MINDER” of the Jewish state, said there was no such thing as a Palestinian.  I pointed out they were all over that bible/torah. 

Perhaps this means that people in the Jewish state have come to the realization that, eventually, there will be a “one state solution”.

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By KDelphi, July 15, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

I agree, spiritgirl. And , in the meantime: (this doesnt relieve our govt of its moral duty)

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/01/israel-boycott-divest-sanction

(Israeli divestment campaign)

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.” The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions—BDS for short—was born.

Author Naomi Klein calls for boycott of Israel
By AFP - June 26th, 2009
BILIN , West Bank (AFP) — Bestselling author Naomi Klein on Friday took her call for a boycott of Israel to the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where she witnessed Israeli forces clashing with protesters.

“It’s a boycott of Israeli institutions, it’s a boycott of the Israeli economy,” the Canadian writer told journalists as she joined a weekly demonstration against Israel’s controversial separation wall.

“Boycott is a tactic ... we’re trying to create a dynamic which was the dynamic that ultimately ended apartheid in South Africa,” said Klein, the author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”

“It’s an extraordinarily important part of Israel’s identity to be able to have the illusion of Western normalcy,” the Canadian writer and activist said.

“When that is threatened, when the rock concerts don’t come, when the symphonies don’t come, when a film you really want to see doesn’t play at the Jerusalem film festival… then it starts to threaten the very idea of what the Israeli state is.”

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles

The full article is in The Nation, but I cant get it to open now that I cancelled my subscription…

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By Spiritgirl, July 15, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

As much as the Israeli’s protest that “they are the victims” in this tale of 2 cities, their actions continue to bear proof to the fact that they are unwilling to compromise anything for a sustained and lasting peace!  Frankly, until the Israeli’s are willing to come to the negotiating table prepared to make real and lasting concessions, I believe that the US needs to divest NOW!  I understand that there are European countries where the people are no longer willing to buy Israeli products, I believe that is fair!

America and her people have supported not just the bad behavior, but swallowed the lies Israel tells wholeheartedly.  But in this “global world” we need to do more than continue to swallow the lies, we need to investigate and critically analyze the reality - Israel has been and is a bully to the Palestinian community and her Muslim neighbors!  The longer the world community puts up with this atrocious behavior the worse the apartheid conditions become for the Palestinians!  America’s shielding of Israel from the world for its bad behavior is like that of the parent of a bully that refuses to believe the truth about their child! 

We cannot expect credibility with the rest of the world as long as we turn a blind eye to Israeli bad behavior!  This is why America must divest, no financial aid, no armaments, nothing!  Until we are really willing to stand for truth and justice, we cannot hold a moral position in the world!

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