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Hamas Holds the High Cards

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Posted on Jun 19, 2007
gaza
AP Photo / Hatem Moussa

Palestinians flee into Israel on Saturday, June 16, hurrying to leave the Gaza Strip in the wake of Hamas’ takeover.

By Robert Scheer

Forty years ago, I entered the Gaza Strip—soon after Israel had conquered that teeming caldron of humanity after defeating Egypt in the Six-Day War—to report on the Israelis’ bubbling optimism about their young nation’s future. “Come back in 10 years and you won’t recognize the place,” an Israeli general told me, spelling out visions of economic development and a grateful Arab population. Similar predictions were made for the West Bank, which had been administered by Jordan in a somewhat more humane yet still quite oppressive manner.

The optimism of the Israeli occupiers did not seem so far-fetched then, given the hardships the Palestinians had endured under their fellow Arab protectors and throughout the diaspora. The experience of the Palestinians was not unlike that of the Jews: They were needed but scorned for their talents. Both refugee groups were scarred by grinding oppression and each nurtured a thirst for nationhood fortified by a tribally based religiosity that secular leaders often found useful.

That is the story of Hamas, a creation of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political organization that flourished after Israel humbled Gamal Abdel Nasser, the last great Arab nationalist leader, with its devastating victory over Egypt. The Palestinian movement was then led by puppets of Nasser and was secular in focus. It remained so, after being invigorated by the late Yasser Arafat, who gave the Palestinians their first serious and independent political identification. But as Arafat wasted his credibility in futile jockeying with Israel (mostly while in exile), corruption came to dominate his movement.

By contrast, the religious zealots who later formed the Hamas organization were more focused on spiritual probity and tended far more closely to the needs of their impoverished brethren in Gaza and the West Bank. As with Hezbollah in Lebanon—and that other Iranian-backed Islamist movement, the Shiites who now control Iraq—the religious movements, both Shiite- and Sunni-based, cornered the market on purity of purpose as opposed to rank opportunism. That is precisely why these fiercely anti-Western movements have been able to turn the favorite fig leaf of U.S. neocolonialism, the slogans of democracy and elections, against the United States by winning popular elections.

While the American mass media tend to join the Bush administration in ignoring this unpleasant contradiction, the fact is that the people we brand as the enemy can make a strong claim to having won the election that our President Bush champions. What irony that the United States and the European Union, both of which cut off aid to the Palestinian government in 2006 when Hamas won the election, have now resumed aid to the PLO-dominated government that lost power through the vote.

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This contradiction applies even more uncomfortably to Israel, which consistently demeaned the Palestinian movement when it was run by secularists. Israel only very reluctantly, and in the most limited of ways, was willing to risk the false security of occupied land for the possibility of peace. Israeli leaders of all parties drew the line at granting the Palestinians a real state with contiguous land and a significant presence in Jerusalem as it existed before the Six-Day War. Rarely mentioned is that some elements in the Israeli government initially supported the rise of Hamas as a desired alternative to the PLO and came too late to the recognition that Arafat, for all of his very serious failings, was their best alternative.

Now it is also too late for the remnants of the PLO to once again unilaterally assert a claim to lead the Palestinians. Sure, the United States, Israel and the EU can throw aid and tax dollars their way, but if the price is that the PLO assist in crushing Hamas, or even sit idly by while Israeli troops reoccupy Gaza, there will be chaos. The only hope is for the funders, including Israel (which has withheld the tax monies paid by the Palestinians from them), to recognize that the Palestinian people need to make their own history. At this point, that must include Hamas, which it is hoped will be moved, as was the PLO, to accept Israel’s right to exist within borders that permit a viable Palestinian state.

That lesson of empowerment must also be applied throughout the region, from Lebanon to Iraq and Iran, where election results subvert the ambitions of the foreigners. Elections are great if they give the conquerors the results they want, but it is in the nature of things that people will not use the ballot to legitimize their oppression for long. The democracy project, ballyhooed by President Bush, founders on its failure to allow the will of the voters to be heard when they dare vote against U.S. policy.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By lilmamzer, June 25, 2007 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

#81211 by Michael Shaw:

Marshall the reason there is no indigenous population is because the indigenous population were forced off of their territory in the first place. Lands they had previously lived on for generations!

Jews are indiginous to Israel and always have been. The local Arabs fled or were driven away by the fighting which was initiated by the Arabs in an attempt to destroy the nascent State of Israel. It’s done. Nursing grievances will never bring peace to the Palestinian Arabs. It brings into question what the aspirations of these people really are: to build a state of their won or to destroy the Israeli nation.
————————

Peace was on the way before Sharon’s right wing thugs stepped in and stepped up the violence.

FALSE.

Barak was the Prime Minister when Arafat began the wave of terrorist violence against Israeli civilians in 2001, and all this AFTER Arafat rejected the Camp David accords. Sharon was elected Prime Minister as a result of the failed Oslo legacy that only brought violence to Israeli cities. Learn your history.
—————————-

As for isolating the West Bank goes, what about the many innocent people trapped inside? Won’t they starve in the process and who do you think they will blame for that?

There is no starvation in the West Bank, and in what way are these people “trapped”? Because they have to pass through checkpoints? That’s because of incessant Palestinian Arab terrorist violence. You would demand nothing less from YOUR government if busses were blowing up in your cities.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 25, 2007 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the following is the kind of garbage that makes me crazy.  Between two true statements is one SO bizarre it boggles the mind:

“Peace was on the way before Sharon’s right wing thugs stepped in and stepped up the violence. His assassination of Arafat and Bush abandoning any real peace brokerage is what contributed to the road we’re on right now. Clearly the wrong road!”

“Peace was on the way before Sharon’s right wing thugs stepped in and stepped up the violence.”

See, this is true.

“Bush abandoning any real peace brokerage is what contributed to the road we’re on right now. Clearly the wrong road!”

And this is true.

But this…“His (Sharon’s) assassination of Arafat…” is pure, total garbage.  Arafat died of natural causes from disease—read the papers.  Rabin, Sadat and everyone named Gemayel died of assassination.  There’s so much you can factually hang on Sharon, but assassinating Arafat is BULL-oney! 

You might INTERPRET Sharon’s actions as hastening Arafat’s death, but to claim assassination is as stupid as accusing someone of murder because they broke a lover’s heart, who then died because they didn’t take care of themselves.  It’s an interpretation but it sure as hell isn’t a fact!

You are entitled to your own opinions. You are NOT entitled to make up facts.  Arafat was NOT assassinated—he died of disease.

You characters are like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity, not to mention the Bush admin.  You just make up what ever garbage you want and then claim it’s “fact” to support your opinion.

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By Michael Shaw, June 25, 2007 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

81028 Marshall the reason there is no indigenous population is because the indigenous population were forced off of their territory in the first place. Lands they had previously lived on for generations! I’d like to add “staying the course” is what has made things worse and pushed any resolve toward peace off the table. Peace was on the way before Sharon’s right wing thugs stepped in and stepped up the violence. His assassination of Arafat and Bush abandoning any real peace brokerage is what contributed to the road we’re on right now. Clearly the wrong road!

As for isolating the West Bank goes, what about the many innocent people trapped inside? Won’t they starve in the process and who do you think they will blame for that? Hamas or those who impose the isolation? I agree with Sheer. Hamas does hold the high cards and Israel only has itself to thank for that.

As for lilmamzer, no I do not condone the violence you’re talking about but it seems to me you condone the violence Israel is dishing out as reasonable. None of it is reasonable and none of it was going on until Britain allowed Israel to become a state.

If your people were herded up like cattle and walled in to suffer and starve, if your home was leveled by a US made bulldozer you might have a different opinion. In fact I’m sure you would. I’d also like to add our agreement with Israel in giving them any equipment whatsoever is on the grounds they will use that equipment peacefully or defensively. Invading territory that doesn’t belong to you is an offensive action, not defensive. Neither is it defensive to mow down the homes of people outside of your own borders and build illegal settlements.

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By Robert, June 25, 2007 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May-June 2007, page 11

Special Report

“Trial of Former AIPAC Staffers Scheduled To Begin June 4
By Andrew I. Killgore
According to the March 15 Washington Post, the often-postponed trial of two former top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—foreign policy director Steve Rosen and Iran specialist Keith Weissman—is scheduled to begin June 4 in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Rosen and Weissman were indicted on Aug. 4, 2005 and charged with disclosing “codeword protected intelligence” to the Israeli Embassy in Washington and to members of the media.

Reports in the March 9 and March 30 editions of the Jewish newspaper Forward gave details about the trial, as well as pre-trial legal maneuverings. The lack of Jewish cooperation with the two former AIPACers’ defense has been called “abandonment.”

Rosen has sought to involve in his defense participants in a secret meeting arranged by Rosen three years ago, but so far all have refused to cooperate. In that meeting, top Middle East peace envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni discussed the situation in the Middle East and attempts by the Bush administration to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Zinni “spoke very freely,” according to the prosecutor’s account of the meeting. Defense lawyers hope to demonstrate, with the cooperation of those attending, that meetings between administration officials and Jewish representatives were commonplace and that highly classified intelligence was frequently shared.

Jess Hordes, head of the Washington office of the Anti-Defamation League, and Dan Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, have refused to cooperate with the defense. A third Jewish representative, whose identity could not be confirmed, is also refusing to testify for the defense.

The “abandonment” of AIPAC staffers only goes so far. After all, AIPAC is willing to pay Rosen and Weissman’s legal fees if the two sign an agreement not to sue the organization in the future. But the former staffers want to preserve their right to sue AIPAC.

The way Rosen and Weissman’s trial will be conducted has yet to be determined. Defense lawyers and media organizations, including The Washington Post, object to what they say is a government effort to “close” the trial by having jurors hear testimony through headphones and receive documents without allowing the public to hear or see the evidence. The government argues that it needs to protect the secrecy of the information used as evidence in the case.

Another matter to be decided is which high-profile witness to call. The defense wants to call Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and senior officials from the State Department, National Security Council and the Pentagon. The purpose would be to show that the government routinely passed information to AIPAC and that the practice was seen by all sides as authorized and acceptable.”

Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

————————————————————————-
WE ARE NOT SEEING OR HEARING MUCH OR ANYTHING ON THE TRIAL OF FORMER AIPAC STAFFERS ON OUR “MOST TRUSTED(?)” NEWS MEDIA OUTLETS. WONDER WHY THE TOTAL BLACKOUT?


http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2007/0705011.html

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By lilmamzer, June 25, 2007 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

#81145 by cyrena:

Surely there was no suggestion in my “plan”, that Israel was considering or should consider some sort of “national suicide”. Oh no, that’s really quite an awful thought.

Simply awful!!!

Wouldn’t hear of it.

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By lilmamzer, June 25, 2007 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

#81145 by cyrena:

I was thinking more in terms of the majority of the population of Israel being agreeable to STOPPING the ongoing genocide. That’s really all I had considered for starters. No attempts to “deligitimitze” Israel in the least.

Incoherent argument.

Genocide? Israel must be pretty incompetent then, since the Arab population of Gaza and Judea and Samaria continues to increase.

Any other bright ideas?

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By Robert, June 25, 2007 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Washington Report, May/June 2006, pages 14-15

Special Report

Hamas: A Pale Image of the Jewish Irgun And Lehi Gangs
By Donald Neff
 
“A photograph dated 1947 shows a poster issued by British police forces seeking 18 wanted Jewish terrorists from the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern Gang. Pictured at top left is Irgun commander and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Photo).
 
AS EASY as it is to dismiss clichés as banal and misleading, the troubling problem is that they often cloak an essential truth. Scoffs and derision often greet the cliché that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Yet freedom fighters is exactly how Israelis view the early Zionists who fought in 1947 for the establishment of Israel—and how Palestinians now consider their fighters resisting Israeli occupation.

The reality is that when faced with a superior military force, such as Britain possessed in 1947 and Israel does today against the Palestinians, terror is the underdog’s only viable weapon. Once a state has been established and legitimized, however, as in the cases of Israel and South Africa, the former “terrorists” tend to gain a veil of legitimacy as well. But legitimacy is now being denied Hamas. Even though Palestinians elected a Hamas-led government in free and fair elections, Israel denies it legitimacy on the grounds that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Sixty years ago, however, at the time of the British Mandate, it was Jews in Palestine who mainly waged terrorism against the Palestinians. As Jewish leader David Ben-Gurion recorded in his personal history of Israel: “From 1946 to 1947 there were scarcely any Arab attacks on the Yishuv [the Jewish community in Palestine].”

The same could not be said for the Zionists. Jewish terrorists waged an intense and bloody campaign against the Palestinians, British, and even some Jews who opposed them leading up to the establishment of Israel.

The two major Jewish terror organizations in pre-independence Palestine were the Irgun Zvai Leumi—National Military Organization, NMO, also known by the Hebrew letters Etzel—founded in 1937, and the Lohamei Herut Israel, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, Lehi in the Hebrew acronym, also known as the Stern Gang after its leader Avraham Stern, known as Yair, founded in 1940.

The Irgun was led by Menachem Begin, the future Israeli prime minister who was a leading proponent of Revisionist Zionism, the militant branch of Zionism pioneered by Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky, which openly despised the Arabs and sought restoration of what it called Eretz Yisrael, the ancient land of Israel. By this was meant “both sides of the Jordan,” the Irgun slogan meaning all of Palestine and Jordan was the rightful home of the Jews.

Another belief of Begin’s was that of the “fighting Jew,” a romanticized idea expressed in Jabotinsky’s old Betar movement song of “we shall create, with sweat and blood, a race of men, strong, brave and cruel.” Israeli scholar Avishai Margalit translated the verse as “proud, generous and cruel,” adding: “Many are still waiting for the generous part to emerge.”

The Irgun was the dominant Jewish terrorist organization, both in size and the number and frequency of its attacks. Its most spectacular feat up to this time had been the July 22, 1946 blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people—41 Arabs, 28 British and 17 Jews. Mainstream Zionists despised Begin and his Revisionists, although there was cooperation between the two on military matters. Ben-Gurion, the leader of mainstream Zionism, fought throughout his premiership with Begin.”

—————————————————————————

Who brought the Evil Of Terrorism to Palestine?

Take a good look at who was wanted for murdering innocent men, women and children in Palestine. It was the former prime ministers of Israel, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon, Ben-Gorion.

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2006/0605014.html

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By cyrena, June 25, 2007 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

#81142 by lilmamzer on 6/25 at 4:02 am

....“The millions of Jews who form the majority in Israel do not wish to commit national suicide. They wish to remain a sovereign Jewish country.

So, no, it’s not a plan - it’s a prescription for endless warfare and attempts to delegitimize Israel”...

Sorry lilmamzer, no connecting dots in this response.
Surely there was no suggestion in my “plan”, that Israel was considering or should consider some sort of “national suicide”. Oh no, that’s really quite an awful thought.

I was thinking more in terms of the majority of the population of Israel being agreeable to STOPPING the ongoing genocide. That’s really all I had considered for starters. No attempts to “deligitimitze” Israel in the least.

Take a pill. Have a drink. Get some rest, and think on it later.

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By lilmamzer, June 25, 2007 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

#81119 by cyrena:

can we address the fact that none of them have rights, and that they are being confined to open air cages, with no legally recognized means to be equal citizens?

The Arabs of Judea and Samaria will not become citizens of Israel, if that was the point of your question.

Whether they become “equal citizens” of a country called “Palestine” is basically up to the Palestinian Arab polity - provided they can learn to govern themselves without throwing members of the opposing party off roofs, engage in daily gunfights in the streets complete with executions, and demonstrate that they no longer pose a threat to their neighbors.

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By lilmamzer, June 25, 2007 at 5:02 am Link to this comment

#81112 by cyrena:

Does that seem like a plan?

The millions of Jews who form the majority in Israel do not wish to commit national suicide. They wish to remain a sovereign Jewish country.

So, no, it’s not a plan - it’s a prescription for endless warfare and attempts to delegitimize Israel.

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By cyrena, June 25, 2007 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

Sometimes I think you’re ghost writing for Dick Cheney.

Meantime, you have grounds for filing a malpractice suit against whomever did your first lobotomy. They jacked you up, and you deserve your money back, plus some chance at further correction of the damage.

I’ll vouch for you.

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By Marshall, June 25, 2007 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

#81067 by Michael Shaw on 6/24 at 6:50 pm

<<Well sir all I know is while you’re talking about boundaries and the like people are dying. How would you suggest we stop it? By eradicating all the bloodthirsty Arabs?>>

Clearly there’s no easy solution given the length of this conflict.  The only course I see is what we’re doing now: trying to isolate Hamas and continue dialog with the only Pal. party that is capable of negotiating.  In the mean time, Hamas will continue to attack Israel and Israel will continue to retaliate.  I see one of two possibilites:

1) Hamas collapses due to global isolation - the people rise up - and Fatah is able to reunite w. bank and gaza., then negotiate statehood successfully with Israel.

2) West Bank negotiates its own statehood with Israel and thrives, providing clear example to Gaza that Hamas way is the wrong way.  Hamas eventually collapses as a result.

Either way, the world MUST enforce political and economic isolation on W. Bank.  The risk is that Iran/Hezbollah takes advantage and funds Hamas.

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By cyrena, June 24, 2007 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

81095 by lilmamzer on 6/24 at 8:29 pm

In this comment, you noted this:

•  “As far as populations being destroyed - are you suggesting that the Arab population of Judea and Samaria was “destroyed” in 1967? That’s patently absurd. The Arab population of these areas has grown since then, not dwindled in numbers.”

Since I’m willing to engage the “semantics” of your discussion, I can say that I should have used a better word than “destroyed”, and I should not have given the impression that it was specifically the war of 1967 that “destroyed” the Arab population. If that was the impression that I conveyed, than I should have stated it differently.

What I meant in terms of the destruction of the Arab population, is better explained by Robert’s comments..the most recent ones.

I will not argue that the demographics of the Arab population have increased since 1948, or 1967, or 2001. No siree. I would not suggest that, any more than I would deny the births of millions of black children, born to the slaves on the multiple plantations of pre-civil war America. Indeed, their numbers did increase. That’s pretty much standard among human populations.

So, these increased numbers of ethic Arabs in the aforementioned areas, are no “illusion”. One can visit and/or live in the area and see millions of them. The problem is, (and why I used that ‘destroyed’ word), is that they have never been recognized as equal HUMANS. THAT would be my focus. If there are 1 or 10 million more Arabs now, then there were 60 years ago, and all of them are sub-citizens with no rights as humans, I euphamistically see that as their “destruction”.

The population of the black indigenous population of South Africa continued to expand during the centuries of Apartheid there as well, but I do continue to view that Apartheid as a destruction of a population.

The fact that there are now “more” Arabs in this region of disputed boundaries doesn’t hold a lot of significance if they are all……. imprisoned without any human rights to self-determination.

So, agreed…there are more Arabs now than there were before. Now, that we’ve agreed on that, can we address the fact that none of them have rights, and that they are being confined to open air cages, with no legally recognized means to be equal citizens?

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Comment #81108 by ill-lie-mamzi

“Under International law there is no dispute, no controversy. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Covention, it’s illegal for any occupying country to transfer its population to Occupied Territories.

The World Court in July 2004 ruled all of the settlements are illegal under International law.

It is inadmissable to acquire territory by war. Under International law, Israel has to withdraw from all of the West bank and East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and other territories. As the World Court put it in July 2004, those are , quotes, “Occupied Territories.”

So references are you using here? Are your references from your Zionism’s texts?

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By cyrena, June 24, 2007 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Ok lilmamzer,

I’ll take your interpretation of the events of the 1967 war. I’ve read the same accounts,(among others) and they are as legitimate (I guess) as any others.
All important details for inquiring minds, who want to consider ways that might finally actually RESOLVE the conflict. All of this stuff has to be considered. Right?

And, in order to get there, I think we’re agreed that one cannot simply ignore the 60 year history of it. But, to really gain anything from that, don’t we need sort of a “starting point”, from which to examine it? And, wouldn’t it make sense to have a look at the actual legal structure of the State of Israel, (and it’s surrouding borders of “stateless” territories)just to get a standard view that we can look at. Something “concrete” I mean, something that’s “visible” to the human eye and cognitive reasoning patterns. In other words, something IN ADDITION TO the vague rhetoric of Israel’s “right to exist”?

Because, that’s pretty much what I think needs to happen. I think we need to look at the original legal birth of Israel, starting from say….1948 maybe? Just as a foundation. This seems like a good starting point, because all of the paperwork is still around, and is still legitimate. (We have to look to the UN and consider all of the Conventions and Treaties that pertain to this, but surely, that might give us a starting point that we can “see, feel, touch,” etc, etc)and then try to incorporate those with the ideological rhetoric all sides. (although clearly, that becomes problematic)


Does that seem like a plan?

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By lilmamzer, June 24, 2007 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

#81101 by Robert:

If one wants to build a fence to separate his/her property from the neighbor’s property, then the fence builder(s) should build the fence on his/her property line and NOT in the middle of the neighbors front yard.
—————————
Q: When did the local Arabs ever have sovereignty over that land?

A: Never.
—————————
Q: How did these territories fall under Israeli control?

A: When King Hussein of Jordan used these territories as a launching pad for a war against israel in 1967, and lost fair and square.
—————————
These areas are disputed, not “illegally occupied”.
Israel is well within her rights to erect such physical features (wall, fence, barrier, whatever) <u>anywhere</u> in said territories when there is a clear and undeniable security risk (read: Palestinian Arab homicide-bombers and gunmen) which can (and should) be mitigated by such measures.

The barriers will remain as long as Palestinian Arabs keep trying to massacre Israeli children.

Everyone knows that.

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Comment #81088 by Cyrena on 6/24 at 8:07 pm


Cyrena…what a great response in your comment/response #81088.

One would ask where are Israel’s recognized borders?

Are these borders pre-June 1967 or what?

Does Israel recognize a Palestinian state or the rights of the Palestinian people?

If Israel does recognize a Palestinian state, then where exactly and what territory/boundaries…pre-June 1967 or what?

If Israel really wants peace & a state for the Palestinians, then why all the land grabbing and this non-stop building and expansions of settlements/colonies, and BTW, these settlements are for JEWS ONLY. Christian & Moslem Israeli citizens do NOT qualify…because they are NOT JEWISH! They cannot even enter the gates!

Israel keeps giving deceptive impressions that they are ready for complete comprehensive peace, but they know if PEACE is agreed upon, they may risk losing the $3-5 billion dollars per year that Israel receives in aid from the U.S. taxpayers.

If there is no conflict and there is peace, then why would Israel need all those billions of dollars during a formal peace treaty.

The International World Court has ruled in 2004 that Israel’s occupation, its Jewish settlements are all illegal. Even that big ugly apartheid wall is illegal.

If one wants to build a fence to separate his/her property from the neighbor’s property, then the fence builder(s) should build the fence on his/her property line and NOT in the middle of the neighbors front yard.

That big ugly wall of racism and apartheid is NOTHING but a Palestinian land gobbler! The American taxpayers are paying for it!

WHAT A DAMN SHAME…NO ONE DARES TO SPEAK OUT!

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By lilmamzer, June 24, 2007 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

#81088 by cyrena:

What I SAID about that war, was that it was a pre-emptive strike (on the part of Israel), BECAUSE….in legalistic terms, that is exactly what it was.

The Egyptians blockaded the Straits of Tiran. That was a casus belli that cannot be contested. Prima facie act of war. That was before Israel took any action against Gamal Abdel Nasser’s forces. Meanwhile, the Syrians had been shelling Israeli farming communities in the North for years, killing farmers and destroying crops, constituting incontrovertible casus belli.

Israel’s actions on June 5 1967 were pre-emptive only in the tactical sense; the war had already been started by the Egyptians and Syrians.
—————————

It was a massive military strike against the surrounding population, which destroyed that population beyond the confines of what had been legally recognized by the United Nations as “The State of Israel”.

FALSE.

Israel targeted only Egyptian military forces. Israel fought the Syrian army, not the Syrian civilian population. And finally, the government of Israel practically begged Jordan’s King Hussein not to enter the war. Nevertheless, Hussein opened up artillery fire on Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods (a war crime by any definition), and Israel was forced to engage the Jordanian Army on a third front. Had Hussein not decided to wage war from his position occupying the West Bank, those territories would never have fallen into under Israeli control.

As far as populations being destroyed - are you suggesting that the Arab population of Judea and Samaria was “destroyed” in 1967? That’s patently absurd. The Arab population of these areas has grown since then, not dwindled in numbers.

In any case, one shouldn’t cry when on the losing end of a war of aggression, which was precisely the situation the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (with material and manpower support from Iraq and other Arab states).

One of the lessons of the 1967 war is that when aggressors initiate and lose a conflict, there will be a price to pay. In this case, it was territory and legitimacy. The Arabs lost both; so it should have been, and so it was.

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By cyrena, June 24, 2007 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

•  Cyrena: I have no cause. I’m an interested observer who finds these exchanges educational when they occur with reasonable people who are willing to debate dispassionately to assess both sides of the conflict. Contrary to your repeated instances about how “not simple” this whole thing is, you clearly see it as incredibly simple: the entire conflict is the fault of the Israelis.

Micah, the above statement is tortured logic, and you are trying to twist my words, because the only thing I have consistently told you is that you cannot generalize anything about this 60 year old conflict. And I have never said that “the ENTIRE conflict is ALL the ‘fault’ of the Israelis. Consequently, your accusation is VERY BAD FORM in an intellectual or dispassionate debate. I’ve already accepted what I know will be your forthcoming apology.

So, when you rephrased the question with cocky and flippant arrogance, it didn’t help your pursuit of anything educational either, because it was the same blanket statement… DO the Israelis have ANY justification for the stalemate that they find themselves in with the Palestinians. Here again, you were asking me to give a general “pass”, to all that Israel has perpetrated against all of her neighbors, ever since she moved into the neighborhood, and set-up an official state. And NO, I cannot do that. My own academic and ideological neutrality does not allow me to do that.

•  There are historical inaccuracies in your assertions. To say, for example, that the 1967 war was unprovoked is absurd.


Here is another example of you actually changing my words, since I did NOT say that the 1967 war by Israel was “unprovoked”, (which is a very subjective term, dependent on how one views it, and from which side). What I SAID about that war, was that it was a pre-emptive strike (on the part of Israel), BECAUSE….in legalistic terms, that is exactly what it was. It was a massive military strike against the surrounding population, which destroyed that population beyond the confines of what had been legally recognized by the United Nations as “The State of Israel”. (I only ask that you look at the paperwork, that’s really all that I ask. A copy of the maps of 1948, and what the UN actually designated as Israel, and all of that)

Was the attack “provoked”? I would say probably yes. My own in-depth research of the war suggests that Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and probably assorted others that were “stateless” were planning to attack Israel. At least the then still very paranoid Israelis had reason to believe that, based on the events of the previous 20 years.

So, THEY attacked first, before they could BE attacked. I call that a pre-emptive strike, because that’s what it was. Whether or not they had “just cause”, is the part that can continue to be debated for centuries to come. (if in fact humanity continues to exist for that long)

Fast forward 40 years. Israel is STILL rhetorically demanding the “right to exist”, even though the law provided for that back in 1948. What Israel has FAILED to do, is to commit (on paper) to exactly which part of its Legal Right” is to be acknowledged, and needless to say, Israel has not yet acknowledged the Palestinians “right to exist” either. Not rhetorically, and not on paper. Rather, when demanding this “right to exist”, they pretty much want the Palestinians to sign a blank and perpetual check, which says “here neighbor, we recognize your ‘right to exist’, anywhere and everywhere that you want to “exist”, and that we will just stay confined in the prisons and camps out here, and whenever you want to spread out, and move further out from your -base state-, that the international community DOES recognize, then that will be fine as well. Anything to keep the peace.”

I believe that to be a very naive and uninformed assumption, because obviously, there is this large population of people who aren’t going to accept that. Ergo, a 60- year conflict that you want to call a “stalemate”.

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By lilmamzer, June 24, 2007 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

#81067 by Michael Shaw:

Well sir all I know is while you’re talking about boundaries and the like people are dying. How would you suggest we stop it? By eradicating all the bloodthirsty Arabs?

If you refer to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists dying in combat as they target Israeli civilians for murder - do you have a problem with that?

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By felicidad, June 24, 2007 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Dear Nahida, thanks again for your website.I finally sat and looked at all 106 of your photos. There aren’t words to describe the feelings your pictures evoke, but the School in the Street brought a smile to my face.
I wish I could do something besides worry,and I hope you are someplace safe.

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By Michael Shaw, June 24, 2007 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

81028 by Marshall

Well sir all I know is while you’re talking about boundaries and the like people are dying. How would you suggest we stop it? By eradicating all the bloodthirsty Arabs?

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

COMPLETE DEBATE BETWEEN FORMER ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER SHLOMO BEN-AMI AND NORMAN FINKELSTEIN.

AMY GOODMAN IS THE MODERATOR. A MUST SEE AND/OR READ FOR ALL FACT/TRUTH SEEKERS.

FOR A TRANSCRIPTOF THIS DEBATE ON THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN/ARAB CONFLICT AND/OR VIDEO, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW. THIS IS A GREAT DEBATE WITH SCHOLARLY HISTORICAL FACTS:


http://www.democracynow.org/finkelstein-benami.shtml

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By lilmamzer, June 24, 2007 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

#81058 by weather:

What Israel hates most?

Getting caught in the headlights of their very own remarkable arrogance

The nerve of those uppity, arrogant Jews organizing for the common defense against an array of genocidal Arab nation-states and Jihadi terror gangs.

And the worst part of it all is the fact that they have achieved self-determination and sovereignty in their own homeland and have been admitted to the UN.

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By weather, June 24, 2007 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

What Israel hates most?

Getting caught in the headlights of their very own remarkable arrogance and manipulating deceit and finding absolutely no one else to blame but themselves.

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By Marshall, June 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

#80965 by Michael Shaw on 6/24 at 12:38 pm

<<80958 No! They had a territory that was taken from under their feet. Lands that belonged to them for generations.>>

Michael - who is “they”?  The Levantine area, whose boundaries are themselves unclear, has been alternately occupied and ruled by Greeks, Jews, Arabs, Romans, Syrians, etc… for centuries.  The name “Palestinian” itself derives from the term “Pelisha”, meaning invasion or incursion.  There is no indiginous population as there was in the Americas (and even here, the tribes constantly fought and displaced one another).  The history of land is about who occupies it now, not which groups used to occupy it.


<<No I am not saying Israel shouldn’t exist.  What I am saying is the Palestinians need their own state>>

The problem is, you’re now in complete disagreement with Hamas which calls for the destruction of Israel in its 1988 charter.  And the Palestinian people elected Hamas to their legislature, so they would appear to agree.  Now - are you agreeing to help force a state of Israel upon them because you think it should exist?  Cause you can’t have it both ways.

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

6 Days of War: Day 2

06.06.2007 | Chicago Public Radio: Worldview

Listen: Download (Mp3) | Listen (streaming)

“On its 40th anniversary, we’re considering the aftermath and consequences of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War with DePaul University scholar Norman Finkelstein, author of Beyond Chutzpah. Yesterday, we heard another perspective on the conflict from American-Israeli historian Michael Oren, author of the best-selling Six Days of War.

RUSH TRANSCRIPTJerome McDonnell: Norman Finkelstein is Assistant Professor of Political Science at DePaul and is the author of Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. And I’ll talk with him towards the end of the hour about the very public debate over his tenure bid at DePaul but we’ll spend most of our time today with the Six Day War. And Norman Finkelstein told me about the build up to the war.

Norman Finkelstein: In order to understand the biuld up to the war the best place to begin is November, 1966. There was an Israeli retaliatory, as they call it, attack on a Jordanian village called Samu. In the course of this attack on Samu they blew up around 125 buildings and killed a large number of Jordanian soldiers.

When that attack happened the Jordanians and also the Syrians began to attack Nasser for not coming to their defense. Here was this Egyptian president claiming to be the leader of Arab nationalism and Pan-Arabism and he was doing nothing. Nasser was being taunted for his, as it were, impotence in the face of Israeli aggression.

And there were various incidents in the Syrian Golan Heights and also by Syrian-backed Palestinian commandos. Now there there’s a certain amount of confusion which is important to clarify. Moshe Dayan, who became the defense minister during the June ‘67 war, gave an interview in 1976 in which he acknowledges, and now I’m more or less quoting him, that 80%, he said at least 80%, but I’ll say 80% of the incidents with the Syrians were instigated by us. That we were engaged, now I’m using my language, but it’s I think a correct paraphrase, we were engaged in a land grab in what were called the demilitarized zones between Syria and Israel. And in the course of this land grab there were conflicts arising with the Syrians. And it was only as a result of these conflicts that the Syrians then would fire artillery from the Golan Heights on the Israelis. So Moshe Dayan himself acknowledged that was instigated by the Israelis.

In April, just let me get right up to the point where the count down, as it were, begins. In April 1967 one of those incidents instigated by the Israelis then unfolded into an aerial battle with the Syrians. And the Israelis knocked down 6 Syrian planes, 6 Syrian Migs, including 1 over Damascus. And it was at this point again when Nasser is being taunted that “you’re not doing anything.”

Things then start deteriorating between Israel and the Syrians. Come the beginning of May Israel is making clear that it’s going to engage in a large scale strike against Syria and now the test is for Nasser. Are you going to do anything about it? The Israelis are announcing over and over again, the generals, the statesmen, that we’re going to give Syria now a serious blow. And it’s at that point that Nasser announces, or Nasser tells Secretary General [not “of State”] U Thant, that the peace keeping force which had been stationed between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai, that peace keeping force should be withdrawn. And that’s the beginning of the count down to the war.”

—————————————————————-

For the rest of this Norman Finkelstein’s interview & transcriptclick on the link:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1067

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By nahida, June 24, 2007 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Dear felicidad
Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words; it is in fact compassionate people like yourself who restore my faith in humanity.

Truth seekers, justice lovers, and peace makers like you and many others on this site gently hold of my wounded heart and morph its pain into smiles grin


Your understanding breaths new life into my worn-out soul, and shines hope in my long and dark nights

Your words are soothing balm with a healing touch that whispers: “all is not lost, humanity is still beautiful”

Together with you and all good people we can make a difference.

peace, salam

Btw: the pictures on my site are not all mine, some are.

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By micah, June 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena: I have no cause. I’m an interested observer who finds these exchanges educational when they occur with reasonable people who are willing to debate dispassionately to assess both sides of the conflict. Contrary to your repeated instances about how “not simple” this whole thing is, you clearly see it as incredibly simple: the entire conflict is the fault of the Israelis.

There are historical inaccuracies in your assertions. To say, for example, that the 1967 war was unprovoked is absurd. It was launched in response to an Egyptian blockade of Israeli ships and a distinct call to war by the Egyptian government. Similarly, the initial war for Independence in 1948—the war which created the exodus that is the root of the entire problem—was initiated by the Palestinians and their Arab allies. So to view the Palestinians as hapless victims throughout the conflict (as you clearly do) is dishonest.

To say that Israel has “never let up” is equally inaccurate. Israel, despite having achieved a clear military victory, offered concessions at the Lausanne Conference in 1949. Not only were they the only nation to do so, but no Arab nation would even meet face-to-face with the Israeli contingent because doing so would acknowledge their right to exist (a right that you have already conceded is a legal one). I agree that the Israeli concession of the right to return for 100,000 Palestinians was perhaps unimpressive, but nevertheless, they were the victors in the war and yet “let up” almost immediately. Their overtures were rejected out of hand.

After the 1967 War, the Israeli cabinet voted to return the Sinai and the Golan Heights in exchange for peace treaties with Egypt and Syria. The Arab Summit representing the losing parties in this war declared that there would be no peace, recognition, or negotiation with Israel. Their unwillingness to engage in diplomacy in the aftermath of a war they had lost is a major reason (although not the only reason) why the West Bank and Gaza fell into a permanent state of occupation: The surrounding nations refused to make peace with Israel. The ONLY recognized group organizing for a Palestinian nation at that point was the nacent PLO, which had as its stated objective the destruction of Israel. I know you don’t believe any nations or organizations have ever actually held this objective. Unfortunately, this is the one specific point in our debate in which there is no room for nuance: you’re wrong.

The creation of the Palestinian Authority is an example of Israel “letting up.” The failure of that authority to achieve any progress in the establishment of a Palestinian nation is an example of Palestinian fault in the conflict. The disengagement from Gaza and the dismantling of settlements are examples of Israel “letting up.” The election of Hamas is an example of Palestinian fault in the conflict.

I am not a wise ass or a simpleton, as you seem to suggest. I simply find the abject vilifying of Israel and the abject championing of the Palestinians when debating the finer points of the conflict to be intellectually dishonest.

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By felicidad, June 24, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Hi Nahida. Thanks for your website; did you take all those pictures yourself? I live in the U.S. and our news media by and large paint a very incomplete picture of Isreal; I’m sure you already know this. I am new to this website, but have been interested in and impressed by your comments on another conversation thread (the Chris Hedges/Sam Harris debate). I’ve thought about asking you completely off-topic questions over there, then thought better of it, and from looking at your website, I see we have a lot in common (we’re both happily married women, you say you’re shy in person but overcome it through writing). One thing we don’t share in common is math, but that is one of my deficiencies I don’t wish to pass along to my daughters! Well, I hope you don’t mind my saying so, but your posts have been a breath of fresh air amidst so much undeserved antagonism. Peace to you and all who read this:)

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By Michael Shaw, June 24, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

80958 No! They had a territory that was taken from under their feet. Lands that belonged to them for generations. There is absolutely no difference whatsoever. And No I am not saying Israel shouldn’t exist. What I am saying is the Palestinians need their own state and their own autonomy to help relinquish the hate on both sides and approach a reasonable understanding over time. This can only be achieved by real peace brokerage, not blatant hypocrisy.

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By Marshall, June 24, 2007 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

#80924 by Michael Shaw on 6/24 at 8:57 am

Michael - regarding your rather unfitting example of Britian setting up a Mexican state in the US: let’s set aside the facts that the Palestinians never had a state to begin with, or that the Arab states in the region have historically treated the Palestinian tribes far worse in the past than Israel has…

You justify the anger and implacability of the Palestinians with the fact of Israel’s existence.  So are you saying that no solution is possible as long as Israel exists?

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By Michael Shaw, June 24, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

No one can deny that acts of terror have been committed by all sides. The reason Palestinians do not accept the state of Israel is simple. It disenfranchised them in their own land and continues to do so. How can we ever force them to recognize that? Hypothetically, how would we in America have felt if Britain decided to create a new state in the US, say along the eastern seaboard for Mexicans? When we see the indifference, hatred and downright animosity aimed at illegals coming into America now, I think we can pretty much understand what would happen next. Could you imagine seeing peoples from the states of NY, Massachusetts, NJ, Rhode Island and Maryland either respectively or individually being uprooted, forced at gunpoint to give up their homes, businesses, farms, towns and cities and do nothing? How about Texas? A new Mexican state there? What would happen if the US was forced to secede Texas back to Mexico and all our people there were rounded up like cattle and sent to detention camps in the desert? Would those folks accept a new Mexican state in what was once their homeland? No damn way! Would they fight for it. I guarantee they would!

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By cann4ing, June 24, 2007 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Robert, I am well aware of Rachel Corrie.  Her death furnished yet another opportunity for fascist/Zionist censorship.  “‘My name is Rachel Corrie’—a play based on the life of the late US peace activist who was killed by an Israli bulldozer—was scheduled to open last March [2006] at the New York Theatre Workshop.  But six weeks before opening night, the theater announced it was indefinitely postponing the production of the play.  They cited the current political climate as the reason for the cancelation, pointing to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coma and the election of Hamas.”

The play eventually opened at New York’s Minetta Lane Theatre in October 2006 to rave revues.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/18/1437210

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By cann4ing, June 24, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Nahida, thank you for the link.  This short video is but a snippit of the tragedy wrought by this illegal occupation.

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By nahida, June 24, 2007 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

The Video Israel Doesn’t Want You to See, the one that Robert talks about in #80870 :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0&eurl;=

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Link correction from my comment previous #80870.

Here is the link to:

ONE OF THE VIDEOS THAT GOT AWAY FROM THE ISRAELI CENSORS.


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=897

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

“ONE OF THE FEW VIDEOS THAT GOT AWAY FROM THE ISRAELI CENSORS”

“When CBC News spoke with Ismail Hawarjeh at Bethlehem’s hospital earlier this month, there was no way to verify the story he told about how his wife had died, until Israel’s Channel 2 broadcast the tape last weekend. The Palestinian school administrator said his wife Huda had been killed in their home by an Israeli tank shell during the army’s March 8 assault on the Aida refugee camp. The army wouldn’t comment and foreign journalist weren’t allowed inside the camp.

But the Israeli media were allowed to ride along with the soldiers, and they went right into the Hawarjeh home. An Israeli camera recorded the army blowing off the door, and found Huda Hawarjeh bleeding on the floor.

The pictures conformed to Ismail Hawarjeh’s story about his wife being hit by shrapnel in the front hallway of the house, and about the Israeli soldiers doing little to help her for one hour while she bled to death in front of her five children.

Finally, the soldiers allowed an ambulance to come to a nearby street, and soldiers helped Hawarjeh carry his wife to it. Doctors tried to revive her at the hospital but couldn’t.

Huda Hawarjeh was one of seven people to die in the Bethlehem area that day.

The Israeli army allows the media such close access on the understanding it can embargo anything it doesn’t want broadcast.

The tapes of the assault on the Hawarjeh home fell into that category. But Channel 2 broke the embargo anyway.

The army, government and many Israeli citizens didn’t like what they saw.

Channel 2 showed Hawarjeh begging soldiers to allow an ambulance through. The camera captured the terror of the woman’s daughter, and her brother’s attempt to stop her from showing the soldiers her fear.”
==================================================

SO LONG AS “NO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS” ARE ALLOWED TO RECORD ISRAEL’S IDF SOLDIERS TERROR CRIMES, THEN ALL MUST BE OK WITH THE KILLINGS OF INNOCENT PALESTINIAN WOMEN & CHILDREN. NO ONE CAN FIND OUT ABOUT IT & NO ONE CAN PROVE IT!

Here is the link to Israel’s brutal IDF soldiers inflicting terror & murder on unarmed Palestinian civilians(women & children):

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11& ar=897

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By nahida, June 24, 2007 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

Burning Conscience: Israeli Soldiers Speak Out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37MFa7ZKQWo&eurl;=

The Iron Wall

http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2007/02/15/the-iron-wall/

a selection of videos:

http://sabbah.biz/mt/featuredvideo/

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

Ernest Canning…

Ooops…correction! That is supposed to be “peaceful and NON-violent resistance” in my last comment #80846 on 6/23.

Regards.

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By Marshall, June 24, 2007 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

For someone with strong opinions on this topic, I’m rather surprised that you haven’t bothered to look at the Hamas charter and familiarize yourself with its stated goals and philosophy.  You can find it here:

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

Since the documentis long, here are links to a couple of articles from legitimate sources confirming that the charter does, indeed, call for the destruction of Israel:

“Hamas’s charter uncompromisingly seeks Israel’s destruction.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5016012.stm

“Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction”

http://abcnews.go.com/International/Mideast/story?id=2043878&page=1

So, Cyrena - I think you need to ask yourself whether you support an organization whose goal is the destruction of a country and its people and whether such an organization can be negotiated with, assuming you’d like to see a negotiated settlement to this issue.

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By nahida, June 24, 2007 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Jewish colonizers uproot Palestinian trees, replant them in illegal Israeli colony

http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2007/06/22/jewish-coloni zers-uproot-palestinian-trees-replant-them-in-illegal-israe li-colony/

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By Robert, June 24, 2007 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Comment #80656 by Ernest Canning on 6/23 at 6:28 am


“That said, I can’t help but confess my bias in favor of peaceful, non-violent resistance. I really think Ghandi and Martin Luther King got it right.”


Ernest…I fully agree with you on peaceful and violent resistance for the Palestinians to use to rid themselves of the Zionist occupation and a chance to get their rights to freedom, justice and dignity. But do you know what the Israeli police, the BRUTAL IDF and other security agencies would do to disrupt such “PEACEFUL” Palestinian resistance?

The Israelis would use any and all forms of scary tactics, agressive intimidations, live ammunition, rubber coated “STEEL” bullets, tear gas, heavy clubs, gun butts, breaking bones, choking and kicking their ribs to pieces.

Most of ALL…they will prevent any Video cameras, news personnel or any form that might give the western world a chance to see the TRUTH about Israel’s gruesome occupation and the brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.

Israel’s IDF has shot at and killed several news/camera personnel in the West Bank and other Palestinian areas. They always say its an accident. Israel’s objectives are to scare & intimidate the others from attempting to video and report such matters. IT WORKS FOR THEM!

I am sure that you have heard of the peaceful hero, our American Ms. Rachel Corrie.

Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old student from Olympia, Washington. Rachel was murdered on March 16, 2003 while attempting to prevent an Israeli army bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home near the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Despite being in bright colored orange vest, with reflective stripes, and carrying a bullhorn in broad daylight, Israel claimed the IDF soldier driving a 52 ton D-9 bulldozer “could NOT see” his victim, as he mercilessly crushed her to death.

Click on Rachel Corrie’s Memorial website for details and read what this outstanding and courageous American woman believed in.

Rachel believed in “NON-VIOLENT” resistance and paid for it with her own life ...WHILE HER IDF ISRAELI KILLER WALKED FREE.

http://www.rachelcorrie.org

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By cyrena, June 24, 2007 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

I wish it were as simple as you’re trying to make it. But, it isn’t. I will agree wholeheartedly, that Israel has never done itself any good at all, by perpetrating crimes of humanity against a entire population of people, because the laws of social behavior generally dictate, that PEOPLE WILL FIGHT BACK, AND THEY WILL RESIST.

Accept that. It’s healthy. I have never seen this “document” or “charter” that Hamas supposedly has. Maybe it really does exist, but no person has ever produced it for me. No body, (including those from Hamas or any other poltical arm of the Palestinian movements), has EVER produced such a thing in writing, for my eyes to actually witness. If YOU have seen such a thing, then an an historian and a scholar, I would love to see it myself.

Until I do, I will continue to interpret such comments as “the destruction of Israel” as being the standard rhetoric that has been the Middle Eastern slogan from as far back as the intial takeover, that caused all of the problems to begin with.

I also cannot close my own eyes to the realities of life for these people in occupied territories. Hamas didn’t just develop overnight, so that it could go “destroy Israel”, and the Palestinians did not elect Hamas because they wanted an “Islamic Government”, or because they want to “destroy Israel”.

In short, these people have been horrifically repressed by the Israeli system, and treated horribly for 6 decades now, and Israel has never shown any sign of letting up. Nor are they now, as more and more settlers continue to move into the West Bank, and the Palestinian population continues to exist without any political or social identity of its own. These people do NOT have jobs, they do NOT have access to education, to public services of any sort. They are not even citizens. They have NO human rights in Gaza, or the West Bank.

And, they have NO WAY OUT. It is a desperation that one cannot easily understand, unless they happen to be subjected to it themselves, and obviously you have not been. So, when you repress an entire society that way, and over an extended period of time, I don’t think you should be surprised that young people, already desperate, could be easily manipulated into doing things like “suicide” bombs, when there is nothing else anyway, when they have no futures, and they know that.


In the cases of these particular suicide bombings, (which aren’t that different from the rational provided by say the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka) it is as much a tactic of war, as it is a tactic of desperation. And, I think I’ve mentioned this a few million times. Suicide bombings did not happen in this region until the 1980’s. That was already 30 plus years into the systemic elimination and incarceration of these people. Add the desperation, and the common sense that these are in fact tactics of the weak against those who control everything about their daily lives, and try to come up with what are possible reactions.


And, I honestly believe that most Israelis have figured this out. I think even Sharon finally realized it. But, he’s gone now, and for the past 7 years, under the dictatorship of the US, Israel is just continuing to create problems for itself, by allowing the Mob HERE, to dictate their policy for them in Israel. And THAT seals their continuing fear.

Israel is never going to get over its paranoia and hypochondria, as long as it continues to maintain the behavior that gives it reason to fear. Since it does not appear that Israel is the least bit ready to release this huge chunk of humanity, and actually look at, or commit to paper, ANY sort of agreement that would allow the Palestinians in these territories to actually live like other human beings, then I just have to assume that they are resigned to living with the fear. Or, at least the ones who are calling the shots and dropping the bombs must be OK with it.

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By cann4ing, June 23, 2007 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment

Called out for displaying his fascist/Zionist glee at the denial of tenure, lilmamzer now tells us that Professor Finkelstein was not denied tenure for political reasons but because Professor Finkelstein “did not publish academic journals.”

Sorry, lilmamzer but at a website called “Truth”-dig we deal in facts, not propaganda.  Here is what Professor Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s leading linguistics scholars had to say:

“[Finkelstein is] an outstanding scholar.  He has produced book after book.  He’s got recommendations from some of the leading scholars in the many areas in which he has worked.  The faculty—the departmental committee unanimously recommended him for tenure….

“Norman Finkelstein wrote a book, which is in fact the best compendium that now exists on human rights violations in Israel and the blocking of diplomacy by Israel and the United States…very careful scholarly book, as all of his work is, impeccable—also about the uses of anti-Semitism to try to silence a critical discussion.

“And the framework of his book was a critique of a book of apologetics for atrocities and violence by Alan Dershowitz….So [Finkelstein] went through Dershowitz’s sharp claims, showed in great detail that they are completely false and outrageous, that [Dershowitz is] lying about the facts…and [Finkelstein] documented it in detail.

“Dershowitz is intelligent enough to know that he can’t respond, so he does what any tenth-rate lawyer does when you have a rotton case: you try to change the subject, maybe by vilifying opposing counsel.  That changes the subject….The subject is no longer the real topic: the crucial facts about Israel, Dershowitz’s vulgar apologetics for them….We’re now talking about whether Finkelstein did this, that or the other thing….

“Dershowitz…first…tried to stop [Beyond Chutzpah] from being published….When he couldn’t stop the publication, he launched a jihad against Norman Finkelstein.”

http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=07/04/17/1327203

lilmamzer, prove that I am wrong about your fascist leanings.  Go out, buy a copy of “Beyond Chutzpah,” take the time to read it, then come back and intellectually persuade me that it is not a scholarly work.

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By cann4ing, June 23, 2007 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Fadel, you don’t have to present a scholarly piece with footnoted references.  Instead, as Robert often does, you can either cite links or the text of scholarly works at which the information can be found by those Truthdiggers who care to look it up.

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By cyrena, June 23, 2007 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

#80820 by Fadel Abdallah on 6/23 at 8:49 pm

Fadel,

Thanks for the comments. I always like to hear things from the sources like you, as well as the scholarly journals. I don’t know if truthdig has the means to publish them, but if you have a link of two that you can just paste for us here, that would be great.

I’ve enjoyed some excellent work recently, by Nir Rosen, and others, but they aren’t actually scholarly journals.

One that is though, (excellent book) is an in-depth view of the workings of the Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank, and Gaza. Written by Dr. Lisa Hajjar, the title is “CourTinG ConFlicT”. I highly recommend it to all. I think that because the Israeli Military Court System DOES in fact lie at the center of the conflict, that allows it to exacerbate, it’s worth studying the conflict from that view. (not to mention other views of course)It’s just that most Americans don’t get that view, or really any others.

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By Fadel Abdallah, June 23, 2007 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Though I agree with the essence of Robert Scheer’s report, especially its concluding point about the split vision and hypocricy of the U.S, Israel and the EU about democracy, I would like to address two points:

1. I disagree with the title of the report saying that “Hamas Holds the High Cards.” I would put it this way, “though Hamas holds the higher moral grounds, the real losers are all the Palestinians as a people and a nation.” When colonialists succeed in applying the old colonial method of divide and rule over the victim people and busy them with killing each others and fueling their disagreements, then the ones who hold the high cards are the colonialists and occupiers. As a person of Palestinian background, I have never felt so ashamed of being a Palestinian than at this time. It seems we never learn our lessons! Though this might be a temporary situation, nevertheless the Colonialists (Zionism, Colonial U.S. and Britain) are the ones who “hold the high cards” at this time.

2. I further disagree with Scheer’s saying that “Hamas was the creation of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood;” as if people suffering under one of the most brutal and longest occupations of modern history need an outside instigator to rise and try to organize a resistance against occupation.  Certainly, though the two movements happened to share a religiously based philosophy of social and political activism, the Muslim Brotherhood in its longer history never reached the level of organized resistance activism that Hamas achieved in it shorter history. Both have their roots in somehow different circumstances that led to their birth. To elaborate on this one needs a lengthy scholarly article, with footnotes and references, which I am willing to provide if Truthdig is willing to get into the business of scholarly publications.

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By Marshall, June 23, 2007 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

#80378 by cyrena on 6/22 at 4:57 am

<<Marshall, I’d pretty much avoided responding to you, because I like to stay reality based.>>

Wow - I don’t know whether that means I’ve become more reailty based, or you’ve become less!

<<However, in posing this question: ........” Why would Israel engage itself in a 60 year old “ethnic cleansing” which has brought nothing but trouble to Israel?”......... I can only answer, WHY….INDEED??? You tell ME>>

Okay, I will.  The answer is: they haven’t.  Israel has certainly expanded its settlements over time, but has also agreed to dismantle them and live side by side with a Palestinian state.  The Palestinians have rejected this idea and have instead incorporated militants sworn to the destruction of Israel into their legislature.  Israel has no interest in continuing the status quo.  Sustaining a constant barage of rocket attacks, suicide bombers, and constant border skirmishes with its neighbors, not to mention the global ill will associated with being locked in an ongoing struggle with a group characterized by many as victims… is in no way in Israel’s best interests.  There is zero benefit.  And the reason it continues is because Hamas military wing has no interest in a cessation of violence or in accepting negotiations with Israel.  Absolutely none.  If you believe it does, then please elaborate.

So… as soon as Hamas removes the destruction of Israel from its charter, or the Palestinians dump Hamas as their representative, you’ll see progress leading to statehood and a peaceful solution to that crisis.  Until then, you’ll blame Israel and continue to ask that loaded question who’s only logical answer is that the question is wrong.

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By cyrena, June 23, 2007 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Ernest, thanks, this does some it up so well..:


response by Palestinian actor Mohammad Bakri to a question posed by Amy Goodman sums it up.

Ms. Goodman:  “What do you think of the US coverage of what’s happening in Israel and the occupied territories?”

Mr. Bakri:  “Brainwashed.  They don’t know anything about what is going on…....”

====================
Now THAT sums it up. We have been overwhelmingly brainwashed, (at least most of us, because there are a few of us that have figured it out by now). But, that really is the bottom line. I read some of these comments, and have to accept that so many people are still drinking the water, without applying any kind of filter. It’s like a mass form of national denial or something. Scary.

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By lilmamzer, June 23, 2007 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

#80785 by Ernest Canning:

Just as the fascist/Zionists seek to suppress academic freedom here in the US (the politicized denial of tenure to a renowned scholar, Norman Finkelstein, over which, like a smiling Adolf Hitler stomping beneath the Arch of Triumph in France, we find lilmamzer barely able to suppress his glee

Finkelstein was denied tenure because he did not publish in academic journals, which is the yardstick by which tenure-track candidates’ credentials are measured.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 23, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Ernest Canning on 6/23 at 1:51 pm
(389 comments total)

ITW, Arial Sharon was lucid?  When? “

Touche! Good point, Ernest.

OK, OK, You KNOW what I meant…when he wasn’t in a coma.

Arial Sharon and Benyamin Netanyahu always represented to me the worst of Israel.  As the religious suicice bomber fanatics of Hamas, and the late, thoroughly corrupt and cowardly Yasir Arafat represented the worst of Palestinians.

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By cann4ing, June 23, 2007 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

A response by Palestinian actor Mohammad Bakri to a question posed by Amy Goodman sums it up.

Ms. Goodman:  “What do you think of the US coverage of what’s happening in Israel and the occupied territories?”

Mr. Bakri:  “Brainwashed.  They don’t know anything about what is going on.”

Just as the fascist/Zionists seek to suppress academic freedom here in the US (the politicized denial of tenure to a renowned scholar, Norman Finkelstein, over which, like a smiling Adolf Hitler stomping beneath the Arch of Triumph in France, we find lilmamzer barely able to suppress his glee), the Zionists first sought to suppress and are now suing Mr. Bakri for merely filming what the IDF did to Jenin.

see http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/22/1458237

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By Robert, June 23, 2007 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Well if it ain’t “ill-lie-mamzi” crowing about academic freedom from his fraud master “dorkawitz” AIPAC PERMANENT MEMBER’S…MICROPHONE!

KEEP CROWING “ILL-LIE-MAMZIE”!

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By Charles Bartob, June 23, 2007 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Shaw, The US Bared the sale of everything but the Lavi airframe.  If the United States did not bar the sale of the airframe it tasitly approved it.  Yhe only other help the Chinese got from the Israelis was advice on operating aircraft in hot desert environments. You fail to note the help Grumman gave the Chines on the development of the JF-17.

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By elixelx, June 23, 2007 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Were the Congress of the USA to confront a rogue President, or vice versa, and there was a coup d’etat in the offing, which one of the two elected sides would you choose?

I assume that if it were George Bush and a Democratic Congress it would be a no-brainer; and if it were Bill Clinton vs a Republican Congress, equally a no-brainer?

Thank G-d, you say, it couldn’t happen here; but it HAS happened there, in Gaza, and who you support there reveals as much about who you are as it would back in the USSR!

And that’s why normally sane people are supporting Hamas—because George Bush is against them!

One more no-brainer brought to you by people with no brains!

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By lilmamzer, June 23, 2007 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

#80750 by Robert

Here is Prof. Norman Finkelstein on BBC with his latest eloquent comments and facts, regarding academic freedom, Palestine-Israel conflict, and book frauds.

And soon to be ‘former’ Prof. Finkelstein.

Unless he snags the Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (wheel)Chair at the prestigious Hamas University of Gaza.

Figures it’s the BBC shilling for Finkelstein.

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By cann4ing, June 23, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

ITW, Arial Sharon was lucid?  When?

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By Robert, June 23, 2007 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Here is Prof. Norman Finkelstein on BBC with his latest eloquent comments and facts, regarding academic freedom, Palestine-Israel conflict, and book frauds.


Here is the link to about a 20 mins. video with Riz Khan on BBC on June 21, 2007:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1106

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By Robert, June 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

June 23 / 24, 2007

There Has Never Been a True Left in Israel
Israeli Apartheid is the Core of the Crisis
By OREN BEN-DOR

“It is unethical to blame Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem for events in Gaza. At the heart of the factional violence in Gaza and the political crisis in the Palestinian leadership lies the constant marginalization of a voice which poses an ethical challenge to an uncritically accepted presumption. Sadly, but hardly surprisingly, initial reactions to the situation have used it to further marginalize this voice.

The presumption challenged is that it is morally acceptable to have a state whose legal structures assign preferential stake to all those who pass some test of Jewishness. It is not surprising that the Israeli right wing rejects this challenge. But why is the message also rejected by those Israelis, and their Western supporters, who claim to be concerned about human rights?

It is true that some Israeli left wingers refer to the post-1967 occupation as an apartheid regime. There are good reasons for such comparison with the old South African system. In the Occupied Territories, Palestinians are subject to arbitrary military regulations, while Israeli settlers are governed by Israeli law. It is no accident that the barrier being built by Israel in the West Bank is called by Israelis the “gader hafrada”. Like the Afrikaans word “apartheid”, the Hebrew word “hafrada” means “separation”. The Israeli barrier separates Jewish settlements from Palestinian villages, usually also separating those villages from their farmland.

But the apartheid label should not be restricted to the post-1967 occupation. There is a more fundamental form of apartheid, of which the occupation is but a manifestation.

Apartheid in historic Palestine originated, and has persisted, in the ideology of creating a state in which Jews would be separated from non-Jews in terms of their stake in the political community. It was an apartheid mentality that nourished the desire of establishing and maintaining a state with a Jewish demographic majority and character. The well-planned ethnic cleansing, in 1948, of 750000 indigenous people was apartheid practice par excellence. It is apartheid which prevents the expelled and their descendants from returning: this apartheid denies residence to expellees from my former home district, the Galilee, but grants it, not just to Israeli-born Jews like me, but to Jews all over the world. It is apartheid law that creates a wall of discrimination between Jewish and Arab citizens of the Israeli state. It is an Apartheid mentality that prompts some Israeli Jews to view their Arab fellow-citizens as a “demographic threat”.

When “Israel’s right to exist” is used as a litmus test for moderation and pragmatism, the subtext is that it is reasonable for apartheid practices which are at the core of the state as currently constituted to be allowed to continue. Thus, those who mouth this mantra, and those who try to limit the apartheid label to “the occupation”, are complicit with the apartheid inside pre-1967 Israel.”

===================================================

Here is the link to the of Ori Ben-Dor’s article:

http://www.counterpunch.org/bendor06232007.html

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By Robert, June 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Weekend Edition
June 23 / 24, 2007

American Media Misses the Boat
USA Today and the USS Liberty
By ALISON WEIR

“Capitol Hill, October 2003. It is a historic occasion. An independent, blue-ribbon commission is to release its findings from an investigation into an internationally significant 36-year-old attack on a US Navy ship that left more than 200 American sailors killed or wounded.

The commission consists of:

* A former ambassador to one of the US’s most important allies

* A US Navy rear admiral and former head of the Navy’s legal division

* A Marine general, America’s highest ranking recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the former Assistant Commandant of Marines

* A US Navy four-star admiral, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest military position in the country), former Chief of Naval Operations, a World War II hero, and the only Naval admiral to have commanded both the Pacific and the Atlantic fleets

The panel is moderated by a former ambassador who served as Chief of Mission in Iraq and Deputy Director of Ronald Reagan’s White House Task Force on Terrorism.

The commission announces explosive findings:

* That the attack, by a US ally, was a “deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew”

* That the ally committed “acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States”

* That the attack involved the machine-gunning of stretcher-bearers and life rafts

* That “the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of the [ship] never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack”

* That surviving crewmembers were later threatened with “court-martial, imprisonment or worse” if they talked to anyone about what had happened to them; and were “abandoned by their own government”

* That due to the influence of the ally’s “powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people”

* That due to continuing pressure by this lobby, this attack remains “the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress”

* That “there has been an official cover-up without precedent in American naval history”

* That “the truth about Israel’s attack and subsequent White House cover-up continues to be officially concealed from the American people to the present day and is a national disgrace”

* That “a danger to the national security exists whenever our elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation” and that this policy “endangers the safety of Americans and the security of the United States”

Newsworthy?

Not when Israel is the attacking nation. Not when Israel is the “ally” to whose interests American needs are said to be subverted.

This extraordinarily high-ranking commission was reporting on the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Many analysts believe that the Liberty attack could be Israel’s undoing—at least as far as US support is concerned—if Americans knew the facts about it.”

==================================================

Now for the the rest of the complete story, click on the link:

http://www.counterpunch.org/weir06232007.html

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By Michael Shaw, June 23, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Well aside from technological difficulties regarding the Chinese and the J-10, no one can today deny the Chinese have a viable, updated version of the F-16 that might be antiquated by today’s standards, but still packs an arguable punch. Also Charles, your commentary stating we approved the sale was not entirely accurate. We didn’t take any actions over it but we were certainly not happy about it.

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By Charles Barton, June 23, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Shaw, I told you to look at the well documented history of the Chinese problems with the original J-10 design.  I would also call your attention to the Grumman input during the early stages of the design of the JF-17 fighter project.

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 23, 2007 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

cyrena (#80590), if you really want to get into “the origins of Jordan,” it turns out that Wikipedia has a reasonably good account in their “Transjordan” entry, whose first two paragraphs are as follows:

The Emirate of Transjordan was an autonomous political division of the Mandate for Palestine, created as an administrative entity in April 1921 before the Mandate came into effect in September 1923. It was geographically equivalent to 1942–1965 Kingdom of Jordan (slightly different from today’s borders), and remained under the nominal auspices of the League of Nations and British supreme rule, until its independence in 1946.

Initially, both the territory to the East and the West of the Jordan river were within the British Mandate for Palestine. “Transjordan” was a name coined as a reference to the part of Palestine “across the Jordan”, i.e., on the far (eastern) side of the Jordan River. On the western side of the Jordan River was the remaining 21% of the Palestine Mandate, Palestine, which contained many places of historical and religious significance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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By cann4ing, June 23, 2007 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Kudos to both Cyrena and Robert for their excellent posts.  Robert’s touches upon the Israeli/AIPAC domination of the corporate media and the right of an occupied people to resist.  The perjorative word “terrorism” is really the label used by the powerful to describe guerilla warfare—the only viable military tactic available to an occupied people.  It is useful to note that, during World War II, the Nazis labeled the resistance movements throughout occupied Europe as “terrorists.”  Franco’s fascists used the same label to describe the remants of Republican Spain who had take to the hills to continue the fight at the end of the Spanish civil war. 

That said, I can’t help but confess my bias in favor of peaceful, non-violent resistance.  I really think Ghandi and Martin Luther King got it right.

Cyrena points to the intellectual bankruptcy of Zionists who seek to conflate valid criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism.  There is no more validity in asserting that critics of this brutal, apartheid occupation “hate Israel” than there is in Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion that anyone who criticises the policies of the Bush/Cheney regime “hates America.”

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By Inherit The Wind, June 23, 2007 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Part 2

So, Micah, you have your answer.  I’m not addressing that group, but instead, you.  They will twist my words, ignore my facts and logic, and pretend I am a radical ultra-orthodox Jew in a black coat and hat with “payos” dangling around my ears, and doveting.  They’ve said as much already.  This is despite the fact that I am a raging Agnostic, raised from birth as an Atheist and a Progressive (my parents were active in the Civil Rights, Anti-War and Women’s Rights movements—and I’m proud of them), and am VERY critical of much of Israel’s actions.

But that gets ignored.  They are entitled to their own opinions, but they are NOT entitled to their own facts.  So the statements made about me are total lies, made up to justify their anti-semitic position and (I believe) their self-denial that they are really following Hitler’s Social Darwinism and “Scientific” racism.

Unlike Cyrena, Robert, Ernest and Fadel, I DO believe that the Palestinians bear a great deal of responsibility for their situation.  And despite the untruthful assertions by them, I also believe Israel bears her share of responsibility as well.  I have LONG believed that Arial Sharon should have been tried as a war criminal while he was lucid.

But the four of them will lie about me and say I am a total Zionist and unquestioning supporter of any and every tactic, right or wrong that Israel takes.

The bottom line is that solutions that were possible in 1948 were not possible in 1967.  Solutions possible in 1967, were not possible in 1980.  Solutions possible in 1980, were not possible in 1995. Solutions possible in 1995, were not possible in 2000. And solutions possible in 2000 are no longer viable in 2007.  The constant changing dynamics have ensured this.

And no solution is an instant solution.  It is a road map that will take 20, 50, 75 or even 100 years to finally ensure stable, safe, fair peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.  Look how many centuries it took Europe to finally achieve stable peace.

Expect the attacks on me by Cyrena, Robert, Ernest, Fadel and others….hey, here they come…

This will be my only post on this thread.  It is now clear that Truthdig claims to be progressive, but when it comes to Jews and Israel is completely and totally anti-semitic, buying into the New Theory of an “International Jewish (oops, ‘Zionist’) Conspiracy” that somehow magically, without money or power dominates America against our best interests.  I guess it must be the power of Satan, or some other such bulls#!t idea.  That is, of course, their next inference: That Jews must get their “power” over America (?) from Satan and are, further “proven” to be inherently evil. 

And that of course, justifies a new Auschwitz, Treblinka, Berkanau and Dachau.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 23, 2007 at 6:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Micah:
You are wasting your time.

What Cyrena buried in his post through various obfuscations is the answer to your question: No, the Palestinians bear NO responsibility for any action they have taken.

When a suicide bomber walks into a pizza parlor filled with children and murders all of them, Robert and Cyrena believe that such an action is either fully justified or TOTALLY the Jews’ fault.

Robert, Cyrena, Ernest and Fadel all fervently believe that Jews have no right to a nation of their own, but that Arab Moslems have a right to 22 racist apartheid states that totally suppress ethnic and religious minorities.  And, if they get their way, Israel will be replaced with the 23rd racist Arab Moslem state, that will then suppress and probably slaughter its ethnic and religious minorities.

But that’s OK with them.  There is only one inference that makes sense of this moral and ethical pretzel logic of theirs: Israel is inherently evil. If Israel was Moslem it would not be, but since it is mostly Jewish, the corollary to that is that it is evil PRECISELY because it is Jewish.  Again, if the all the actions of Israel were IDENTICAL, but Israel was a Moslem Arab state, none of these hypocrites would have any objection to her actions.  That’s because the Arabs have treated their own ethnic and religious minorities far, far worse over the same period of time. 

In fact, the Moslem Arab states have treated the PALESTINIANS far worse than Israel.  Imagine, if you will, a vast “invader” of Canada, driving Canadians toward the US border, and imagine, still further, the US shooting any Canadian who tried to get in, refusing them refuge and home.  I use Canadians because their language and culture is closer to America’s than any other nation (yes, even Quebecquois are culturally more like us than the French).  Yet that is PRECISELY what the Arab nations did to the Palestinians.

So we come back to their pretzel logic: The only possible inference that can justify such a position is that Jews and Judaism (not Zionism—that’s a straw man and a red herring) must be fundamentally evil.  If the same and worse actions by Arab Moslems aren’t worth mentioning, but when Jews do it it’s “just like Nazi-ism”, then the defining factor is the Jewish religion.

So when I say these people are anti-semitic, and they say “no, No, NO!”, they are attempting to deny the logical implications of their argument, which is the same old argument that Jews are inherently evil, that they form a conspiracy of ultra-religious orthodox, radical atheists, bankers and marxists, all working together for the goal of “World Domination”.

This is REALLY sick when seen in the light of many radical Moslems (like Osama, the Iranian theocracy, and the Wahabbists) who have openly stated that their goal is to force the entire world to worship Islam.  Likewise, American current leadership (including Air Force generals) have stated that it’s America’s duty to bring Christianity (of the Protestant radical fundamentalist flavor) to the world, starting with an apocalyptic battle with Islam.

end part 1

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By cyrena, June 23, 2007 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

Micah,

Rest assured that I am very rational, maybe even too rational, since I have no personal attachment that could create a bias toward either of the groups in this particular conflict, and I’ve examined it the same way as I’ve examined the same sort of events as they’ve taken place in Rwanda, and other parts of the world where these things have occurred. So, my examination of the conflict is overwhelmingly based on an academic examination of it. So, it’s wise that you’ve reserved the accusation that I’m “blinded” by hatred for Israel or its “policies”, since neither is true. (that I’m blind or hate Israel or Israelis). Israeli “policy” however, is a different matter. But, that was not your question, nor was your question the least bit “simple”, if you really wanted a substantive response.

This was your question: Do the Palestinians bear ANY responsibility for the bloody stalemate in which they find themselves with Israel?”

What part of this 40 year old “bloody stalemate” that both the Palestinians and the Israelis find themselves in –WITH EACH OTHER- are you talking about? Now, I was prepared to discuss any number of incidents along the course of this 60 year old CRISIS, which is why I tried to get you a little bit more narrowed down to a particular point in the conflict. But, that isn’t really what you wanted to know.

I could throw something out there like: Well, maybe Yasir Arafat should have bargained a little harder, or maybe the already marginalized Palestinian Authority, (who never had any real political power anyway) should not have allowed themselves to become so corrupted, (which is what happened within the original secular movement of Fatah). I could blame them for a whole bunch of things, but it doesn’t mean much when you take it out of context to everything else.

And no, it doesn’t help when you reword or rephrase it, because it’s the same question, and you want a biased opinion that gives a “pass” or an excuse, to Israel, for all that it has done in the past 60 years, to rob an entire population of people of their land and identity. You want me to agree that Israel has justification for EVERY thing that they’ve done in creating the destruction of another population, (and locking up the few survivors) and you want me to pretty much say that the Palestinians are at fault for letting themselves get kicked out. Or, at best, you want me to say that ALL parties are EQUALLY at fault, and from a 360 degree angle at that. That isn’t the reality either.

So no, unless you want to talk about the specifics of the “stalemate” as you call it, I can’t find any “general justifications” for ANYTHING that Israel has done. Not the original expulsion, not the subsequent land grabs, not the basic imprisonment of an entire population, and not the subsequent destructions of other neighboring states like Lebanon, last summer. I just can’t find anything in the laws of war or the consciousness of a humanitarian, that makes any of Israel’s actions “justified” And, I’m real hard pressed to find any direct responsibility that the Palestinians bear for the stalemate, since that’s what you call it.

Ask a real question, and try to ask it based in context to a universal set of standards that are inscribed, and not just your opinion of who is justified or not justified, based on your own inherent biases. Drop the hate accusations and all of the emotional rhetoric that comes along with any conflict that you have a personal stake in. Once you do that, and start connecting dots of what is written and accepted as universal law, and how the events have actually played out, you actually have a framework from which to argue.

THEN we can start assigning blame and responsibility and all of that. Right now, you’re just being a wise-ass. It doesn’t really help you or your cause.

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By micah, June 23, 2007 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

Cyrena: I’m well versed in the history of the conflict, from its origins to the present. I’m just trying to determine whether or not I’m debating with a rational person or someone who has allowed their hatred for Israeli policy (and quite possibly for Israelis in general, although I wouldn’t necessarily make that accusation yet) blind them from accepting that the blame in the conflict is applicable from 360 degrees.

Since you dodged my most recent simple question, I’ll try re-asking from a different angle based upon your last non-answer. Have the Israelis been justified in ANY of their actions in the bloody stalemate in which they find themselves with the Palestinians.

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By Robert, June 23, 2007 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Comment #80554 by Ernest Canning on 6/22 at 4:14 pm

Ernest…we the American people have been almost totally isolated for decades from the TRUTH. The major News Media, they almost have a total monopoly on the news industry. They pick & choose what is OK to put on the air, in regards to the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict, for the American people to see. All those news programs must pass several strict approvals before the green light is given/approved for the OK signal.

We keep hearing that Israel has a right or a God given right to defend the land. The defense of the stolen lands against the people from whom they were stolen and who are trying to get their land back against a much superior equipped brutal army. This superior strength of a nation was built upon stolen land and sustained by massive aid and assistance from capitalist nations from their taxpayers, who have no interest or the compassion to help these refugees from the Zionist Army of THUGS.

The Palestinian people have a right to resist this brutal illegal Zionist occupation. Their rights are recognized in International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We keep hearing that Palestinians commit terrorist acts when Israelis are killed, and when Israelis kill, murder, assassinate Palestinians, it is called “Israel’s right to defend & protect its citizens”.

Palestinians have an equal right to defend and protect their citizens, their children, their women, their land, their homes, their schools, their farms, their olive orchards, their dignity, their human rights. What do the Palestinians have in weapons to defend themselves…mostly stones, a few hand guns, and homemade tin cans for kassam firecrackers.

It is NOT only the Islamic fundamentalist who are fighting for their rights, but all Palestinians, Molems, Christians, Peaceful Jews of every political,
religious, and moral obligation / responsibility.

So Ernest, when one looks at the number of Israelis VS the number Palestinians that were killed, the numbers are staggering. If Israel, AIPAC, Zionism, our major News Media label this as “TERRORISM”, which they continue to do, then ISRAEL has committed much “MORE TERRORISM” than the Palestinians.

“The majority of these[Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers.”

NO ONE likes to see innocent people and children being killed on either side of this long tragic conflict. I say END THIS BRUTAL ZIONIST & RACIST OCCUPATION…NOW. UN Resolutions 242, 338, 194 are the formula to ease this sad conflict and stop ALL the killings.

ALL THIS WILL HAPPEN IF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL GET INVOLVED TO PUSH FOR EQUAL HUMAN RIGHTS & MORAL JUSTICE FOR THE OCCUPIED PEOPLE OF PALESTINE (based on UN Resolutions 242, 338, 194)!

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By cyrena, June 22, 2007 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

80278 by Truth Be Told on 6/21 at 7:30 pm

cyrena:
The arabs on the west bank are JORDANIAN. THAT IS FACT. They are not Palestinian. Palestinian is not an arab designation. Palestinian comes from the ancient name PHILESTINE from the bible. There is no relationship to them at all.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

TRUTH Be Told….

Check the origins of “Jordan”, another Middle East location with artificial borders. Before it was Jordan, it was “Transjordan”, (and no, I don’t know why they called it that at the time, unless they were needing a geographical designator for the point in history, and it sounded like a good name, since so many of the Palestinians that were being kicked out at the time, used that territory to TRANSIT). The historical FACT, is that what is now Jordan, is made up of yep…you guessed it…the same people who were eliminated from what was then called PALESTINE, when the Zionists first began the massive expulsion. To say that someone is a Jordanian, means that we recognize Jordan as a sovereign nation, and its citizens as Jordanians, REGARDLESS of what their ethnicity is. In truth, the current population of Jordan, (which is 70% Arab), have come to be there, for the same reasons I’ve said before. It is one of the many places that accepted a large influx of the Palestinians during this long extermination from where they began.

So, the ARABS in the West Bank, and Gaza, are ARABS, (most of whom are non-Jews, though there are indeed some Jewish Arabs in existence still) and they have been ethnically cleansed from what was originally an area called Palestine. No. It was not a “Nation State” at the time of Israel’s birth, any more than ISRAEL was a “Nation State” until 1948. Nobody is arguing that.

The ARABS of the region, whether they be in Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or any of the other surrounding areas of the historically ARAB region, are ARAB. Some are Christians, (not many) and some are Jews, but most of them are Muslims. There is a difference between “National identity”, ie, Jordanian, Israeli, American, and ethnic identity; ie, Arab, Caucasian, Asian, Black/African, and religious affiliation; ie, Christian, Muslim, Jewish. None are mutually exclusive.

We really can’t compare bananas, oranges and crackers, in order to find any explanations for this particularly bloody and long term destruction of a population of people.

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By cyrena, June 22, 2007 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Micah…

This is a legitimate question:

Cyrena: Answer this for me, so I can know if we’ve debated to any mutually agreed upon points beyond the ones we’ve already stated:

“Do the Palestinians bear ANY responsibility for the bloody stalemate in which they find themselves with Israel?”
******************

Here again, there is not a simple answer, because it requires that you go back to the beginning of the conflict, and follow each stage of it. The ACTIONS, and then the REACTIONS, as you follow the thread, and you have to examine all of these consequences as to how they are related to each other, and how EACH GROUP has responded to the other, and what their positions have been at the time. What have their grievances been, throughout the course of this conflict?

Now, in all honesty, it does not appear to me, that you have yet had the time or inclination to do that. I say that because if you grew up on the Internet, (which you mentioned)and presuming that you grew up here in the U.S., you haven’t had the time or resources available, to really EXAMINE this history. Not because you might not be a very smart person, (which I suspect that you are) but just because you haven’t yet digested the events of the entire conflict, back to its roots. MOST Americans today, are NOT thoroughly educated about the issues of the conflict, because it requires some WORK, in searching out the paradigms of it, because we are witnessing it through the experiences of others, who obviously have biases, that date back to the original cause.

I am surrounded by teenaged geniuses and young adults who “grew up with the Internet” and I have high hopes for them, because far from the days of my own initial education, there is SO MUCH MORE accessible now, to guide your knowledge acquisition. So, at some point in time, you will be able to answer this question yourself: “Do the Palestinians bear ANY responsibility for the bloody stalemate that they find themselves in with Israel?”

As you trace it back, you will surely come upon actions and reactions by the Palestinians, that you could arguably point to, and say “Ah HA” -  THAT one was solely the fault of the Palestinians, they should never have allowed or encouraged some of their own to commit suicide bombings against innocent civilians. Civilized people do NOT condone the perpetration of violence against innocent civilians, and it is an action that is clearly outside the confines of legality in the framework of international law. And, if you remember, that’s where we started this discussion.

So, the answer to your question (are they responsible for ANYTHING) in this stalemate, is very subjective. Were the indigenous people of North America responsible for their own genocide at the hands of the Spaniards and the British? Did they force their own demise by attempting to fight back against their destruction? There were several million of them living here for several centuries, but they were systematically eradicated and/or “removed” to the periphery (reservations) once the Europeans came over and “discovered” them here. What might they have done differently, to keep themselves from being wiped out by a conquest of foreign strangers when they showed up back in the 15th or 16th centuries?

All of these are worthy questions, and I’m sure that if you examine all of the ingredients of the Israel/Palestine Conflict, you will find several places on the time line, where you can say that the Palestinians should have or could have “reacted” in other ways. The Indians of Gandhi’s era choose the “non-violent” approach, except of course that it wasn’t “non-violent”. Millions of them were murdered in cold blood, as they sat there non-violently resisting the imperializing efforts of the British. But eventually, they did gain their independence. So, should the Palestinians have done the same thing? And, at what POINT in the history of their own expulsion, should they have taken up the “non-violent” approach?

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By cann4ing, June 22, 2007 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Robert, I suspect your central point, with which I wholeheartedly agree is that while violence, especially violence against civilians, is to be detested no matter who engages in it, the level of death and destruction visited upon Palestinians by the IDF far exceeds that which has been visted upon Israelis by Palestinians.

Frankly, there is no valid basis for challenging that.  It is simply the cold, hard facts—facts that cannot be ignored, except, perhaps, in the minds of our resident Zionists whose ideological blinders prevent acceptance of the obvious.

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By Michael Shaw, June 22, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

loveinatub, Some could argue the reason Rabin was assassinated was because he was granting more autonomy to the Palestinians. He might not have been supporting the idea of a new Palestinin state but clearly he was going in the right direction. Granted he had come full circle concerning the Palestinians. We haven’t forgotten he ordered the breaking of bones of revolting Palestians, an action he said would save lives. Some of his time line is below courtesy of CNN.

1988—Orders troops to break bones of Palestinians rebelling against Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza, arguing it will keep down death toll.

1993—On Sept. 13, Rabin, Peres and PLO leader Yasser Arafat come together in Washington for signing of first Israel-PLO framework for autonomy in West Bank, Gaza. Rabin, Peres and Arafat share 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.

1995—On Sept. 28, Rabin, Peres and Arafat sign agreement expanding Palestinian autonomy. On Nov. 4, Rabin is assassinated after peace rally in Tel Aviv, age 73. A right- wing Israeli is held as suspect.

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By Robert, June 22, 2007 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

STATISTICS

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.

It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power – and duty – to bring a resolution.

Below are charts of nine little-known statistics.
Please click on any statistic for the source and more information.”

Statistics Last Updated: June 14, 2007

“Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed Since September 29, 2000:

118 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 943 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Source)
 
Israelis and Palestinians Killed Since September 29, 2000:

1,023 Israelis and at least 4,160 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000. (View Source)

Israelis and Palestinians Injured Since September 29, 2000:

7,633 Israelis and 31,403 Palestinians have been Injured Since September 29, 2000 (view Source)”

—————————————————————————

JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE RATIO OF KILLINGS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS, THE HOUSE DEMOLITIONS, THE NUMBER OF PRISONERS, THE NUMBER OF INJURED…AND OTHERS…THEY ALL GLARE AT YOU FROM ALL DIRECTIONS.

WHO IS COMMITTING MORE KILLINGS, MORE DESTRUCTION, MORE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS…AND OTHER VIOLATIONS…?

Here is the link for the statistics, details and sources:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 22, 2007 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

cyrena (#80378), to ask “Why?” is to succumb to at least two of the “dogmas” of Western civilization that provide the unifying theme of the essays by Isaiah Berlin in the collection THE CROOKED TIMBER OF HUMANITY.  Those two dogmas are (1) that every question has an answer and (2) that the answer is knowable by rational means.  Any hope that we can answer such a “why” question in these terms is a vain one (in at least two of the semantic interpretations of “vain”).

One way to transcend those dogmas is (to invoke hermeneutic terminology) to think more about UNDERSTANDING than EXPLANATION.  This strategy may be pursued by examining the path proposed by one of the “critics of the Enlightenment” (to borrow another Berlin phrase), Giambattista Vico, whose NEW SCIENCE proposes, in all seriousness, a theory of “poetic wisdom.”  nahida has both recognized and demonstrated the value of this strategy with most of her comments (although I writeas one more skilled in the critical reading of prose than of poetry).  On the other hand, if prose is more your cup of tea (which seems the right metaphor for this cultural setting), try to dig up a copy of THE DISINHERITED:  JOURNAL OF A PALESTINIAN EXILE, which Fawaz Turki wrote and published (coincidentally enough) at the time I was living in Israel.

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By micah, June 22, 2007 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Cyrena: Answer this for me, so I can know if we’ve debated to any mutually agreed upon points beyond the ones we’ve already stated:

Do the Palestinians bear ANY responsibility for the bloody stalemate in which they find themselves with Israel?

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By weather, June 22, 2007 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Mr Charles Barton.

Hate doesn’t motivate me at all, you simply hate what I say.

You and Israel win yet another Academy Award.
This one for best dramatic performance of feeling sorry for yourselves at the remarkably arrogant and manipulating expense of everyone else.

A role Israel has truly perfected.
Go ahead Chuck, slide up and take bow, you must be proud?

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By Charles Barton, June 22, 2007 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“why Israel would expel millions of Arabs from their homeland, in what can be called ethic cleansing more accurately than genocide, and why they have continued on this path for 60 years, considering all the grief it has brought them.” - cyrena

Two bits, four bits, xix bits, a dollar!  All for hating Israel stand up and holler!

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By cyrena, June 22, 2007 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Marshall, I’d pretty much avoided responding to you, because I like to stay reality based. However, in posing this question:

........” Why would Israel engage itself in a 60 year old “ethnic cleansing” which has brought nothing but trouble to Israel?”.........

I can only answer, WHY….INDEED??? You tell ME, because it sure as hell doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, why Israel would expel millions of Arabs from their homeland, in what can be called ethic cleansing more accurately than genocide, and why they have continued on this path for 60 years, considering all the grief it has brought them. (from those rockets and stones and things).

I definitely don’t have the answer, because it is such self-destructive behavior. So, why does ANY person or group indulge in such behavior? I don’t know. All we DO KNOW, is that this is exactly what Israel has done, for the past 60 years, and the results are visable, to anyone who choses to acknowledge them.

So, that will be a good thing for you to check into. Find out exactly why Israel has perpetrated this massive expulsion and ethnic cleasing, and brought such misery to an entire population of people, who had done nothing to them. When you find out, get back to me.

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By Charles Barton, June 22, 2007 at 5:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Welcome to Israel

A political state by day, a religious state for tax purposes, an extradition-free refuge for its citizens who commit crimes elsewhere, but always, the exhausting, manipulating and misunderstood victim, that demands to treated as the exception and always at the expense of others. Very lovely. - Weather

Two bits, four bits, xix bits, a dollar!  All for hating Israel stand up and holler!

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By weather, June 22, 2007 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

Welcome to Israel

A political state by day, a religious state for tax purposes, an extradition-free refuge for its citizens who commit crimes elsewhere, but always, the exhausting, manipulating and misunderstood victim, that demands to treated as the exception and always at the expense of others. Very lovely.

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By nahida, June 22, 2007 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Marshall

The ethnic cleansing has already been done; denying 7 million refugees the right to return home is nothing but ethnic cleansing!

Destroying and depopulating 531 villages is nothing but ethnic cleansing.

Systematic oppression, starvation, and imprisonment of a whole people to drive them out of their homeland in what is called voluntary transfer, is nothing but ethnic cleansing.

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By nahida, June 22, 2007 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Will I ever grow up again?


Life on hold
My internal clock is shattered into pieces
The 40 years of forced exile
Have no record in my book of memories
Chapters of lost titles
Blank sheets; page after page
Unseen pictures with no lines
Mysterious characters with no faces
Images that have neither shape nor colour
Invisible words that have no letters
Nor meanings
A sad story with an unwritten scriptLife on hold

Ageing by the day
The head inflamed with grey hair
Swallowed by the dark sea of shame
Having to flee without facing the storm
Shaken by the gales of hurt and pain
With my roots uprooted
A freezing gloomy everlasting winter
Watching over my shoulders
Awaiting my decay

Life on hold

I was seven
I am seven
I will be seven
And I will stay seven
Until the day of my return
The pieces of my shattered clock
Will be put together, that day
And it will start ticking again
The pink and white blossoms of my spring
Will become something more than just a dream

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By Marshall, June 22, 2007 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

#80340 by cyrena on 6/21 at 11:26 pm

“So any person, living today, anywhere in the world, can see that it IS THE CASE, whether you want to believe it or not.”

I do not see this at all.  Logically, it doesn’t even make sense.  Why would Israel engage itself in a 60 year old “ethnic cleansing” which has brought nothing but trouble to Israel?  If Israel wanted to wipe out the Palestinians, they could do it in days.  Your premise just makes no sense, whether you want to believe it or not.

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By jc, June 22, 2007 at 1:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the “right to exist” is a meaningless phrase meant to obscure israel & u.s.‘s intention to consistently opt for expansion over peace. states recognize that other states exist, but no state recognizes the “right” of any other state to exist. it’s absurd. if israel and the u.s. wanted peace right now it would be their’s.

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By cyrena, June 22, 2007 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

80341 by Robert on 6/21 at 11:28 pm

**************************
Robert,
Thanks for posting the paper on the Origins of the Conflict, and the further link. I’m hoping it’s helpful to those who have never had reason or opportunity to track it back.

Seeing as how it IS Posted by “Jews For Justice in the Middle East”, maybe we can actually spread the truth, which is that MOST Jews actually DO want justice in the Middle East. (no, I’m not a Jew, but it doesn’t matter, since I’m not currently trying to live life in the Middle East). Although, in all honesty, things aren’t looking good here at home either.

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By Robert, June 22, 2007 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

Comment #80331 by Michael Shaw on 6/21 at 10:42 pm
——————————————————————————
      The complete text of
  The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
____________________________________________________
          Published by
    Jews for Justice in the Middle East

“As the periodic bloodshed continues in the Middle East, the search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict. The conventional wisdom is that, even if both sides are at fault, the Palestinians are irrational “terrorists” who have no point of view worth listening to. Our position, however, is that the Palestinians have a real grievance: their homeland for over a thousand years was taken, without their consent and mostly by force, during creation of the state of Israel. And all subsequent crimes—on both sides—inevitably follow from this original injustice.

This paper outlines the history of Palestine to show how this process occurred and what a moral solution to the region’s problems should consist of. If you care about the people of the Middle East, Jewish and Arab, you owe it to yourself to read this account of the other side of the historical record.

Introduction
The standard Zionist position is that they showed up in Palestine in the late 19th century to reclaim their ancestral homeland. Jews bought land and started building up the Jewish community there. They were met with increasingly violent opposition from the Palestinian Arabs, presumably stemming from the Arabs’ inherent anti-Semitism. The Zionists were then forced to defend themselves and, in one form or another, this same situation continues up to today.

The problem with this explanation is that it is simply not true, as the documentary evidence in this booklet will show. What really happened was that the Zionist movement, from the beginning, looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the indigenous Arab population so that Israel could be a wholly Jewish state, or as much as was possible. Land bought by the Jewish National Fund was held in the name of the Jewish people and could never be sold or even leased back to Arabs (a situation which continues to the present).

The Arab community, as it became increasingly aware of the Zionists’ intentions, strenuously opposed further Jewish immigration and land buying because it posed a real and imminent danger to the very existence of Arab society in Palestine. Because of this opposition, the entire Zionist project never could have been realized without the military backing of the British. The vast majority of the population of Palestine, by the way, had been Arabic since the seventh century A.D. (Over 1200 years)

In short, Zionism was based on a faulty, colonialist world view that the rights of the indigenous inhabitants didn’t matter. The Arabs’ opposition to Zionism wasn’t based on anti-Semitism but rather on a totally reasonable fear of the dispossession of their people.

One further point: being Jewish ourselves, the position we present here is critical of Zionism but is in no way anti-Semitic. We do not believe that the Jews acted worse than any other group might have acted in their situation. The Zionists (who were a distinct minority of the Jewish people until after WWII) had an understandable desire to establish a place where Jews could be masters of their own fate, given the bleak history of Jewish oppression. Especially as the danger to European Jewry crystalized in the late 1930’s and after, the actions of the Zionists were propelled by real desperation.

But so were the actions of the Arabs. The mythic “land without people for a people without land” was already home to 700,000 Palestinians in 1919. This is the root of the problem, as we shall see.”

—————————————————————————


There is lots of information on this link:
http://www.wrmea.com/jews_for_justice/index.html

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By cyrena, June 22, 2007 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

Ok Micah,

I appreciate all of your awareness, but I still believe it to be incomplete. Not “wrong”, but maybe just incomplete. This is what you wrote, which you interpreted as whatever I was trying to say:


“That Israel has been engaged in a sixty year effort to ethnically cleanse the occupied territories and erradicate the Palestinian people from the earth through massive extermination. As awful as the conditions in the territories are, this JUST ISN’T THE CASE.”

And, what I’M saying is….YES, this is EXACTLY what has occurred, regardless of whether or not every single Israeli Jew INTENDED for that to happen. In the past 59 years, that is EXACTLY what has happened, and CONTINUES to happen, as we speak. So any person, living today, anywhere in the world, can see that it IS THE CASE, whether you want to believe it or not.

Maybe this was never a “master plan” on the part of the Israelis as a collective nation, but the reality is that it has become a massive expulsion of humanity, that just happens to be Arab, and has resulted in crimes against humanity, regardless of whether or not they “planned” it that way. To that extent, Israel has some responsibilities, (having been set in international law), and Israel has failed to honor them. And, it’s been 40 years.

I am not suggesting that Israel does not have a right to exist, because International Law has obviously provided the means for that. But, if not Israel, WHO exactly would you have me “blame”, for the current condidions of millions of refugees who have been scattered in various camps and other slums of the region, over the past 40 years?

Sometimes, we have to be willing to accept some responsility for our actions, or even the actions of our ancestors. Whatever happened in the Holocaust, the Arabs didn’t do it? OK. So now the Israelis are really gonna have to be willing to make some concessions, and do some mending, if they don’t wanna have to keep looking over their shoulders, and fear the next little rocket that might come from across that wall.

Here’s a nice rundown of the situation from a rational standpoint.

http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/mideast/palestine/index.html

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By Michael Shaw, June 22, 2007 at 12:06 am Link to this comment

Hi Charles got it this time. Thanks!

It seems to me, since Israel has already traded secrets with China concerning weapon systems against our approval than who knows if the body was the only thing that went for sale? We see they gave them technology for weather adaptation. We also see it has computer targeting systems and they admit the Lavi is an upgraded version of an F-16. That doesn’t sound like a lame duck to me, nor does it sound like an inferior aircraft. I remember them saying the same thing about Soviet MIG’s during the Korean and Vietnam wars. We might have had better technology but the MIG’s had better maneuverability and there was hell to pay as a result. Combine Russian and Israeli technology with China’s and what you’ve got is a formidable weapon, perhaps not as advanced as what we have but none the less capable of creating lots of damage.

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By Robert, June 21, 2007 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Asia Times Article:

By David Isenberg

11/19/2004


“Sometimes when China is blocked from obtaining military systems it desires, that denial serves as an incentive to develop the arms and technology domestically. For example, in 2000, the US pressured Israel to back out of a $1 billion agreement to sell China four of its Phalcon phased-array radar systems, which would have been used for a Chinese AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). Last week the Washington Post reported that China has developed its own AWACS, using a domestically produced advanced radar mounted on a Russian-made Il-76 transport aircraft, and is test-flying the first models for early deployment in the Taiwan Strait. The AWACS could be operational within one or two years, assuming the tests are successful.

Israel has also been a long-standing supplier of advanced military technologies to China. According to the findings of a past US congressional committee chaired by Representative Christopher Cox (Republican-California), Israel has “offered significant technology cooperation to the People’s Republic of China, especially in aircraft and missile development”, including helping China build its current F-10 fighter jet. The Chinese F-10 is virtually identical to the discontinued Israeli Lavi fighter, an aircraft designed using $1.5 billion in US aid. The Lavi program, funded by the US and based largely on the F-16, was intended to provide Israel with its first domestically built fighter jet.

Israel also transferred to China its STAR-1 cruise missile technology that incorporates US stealth technology and is a version of Israel’s Delilah-2 missile, which contains US parts and technology.”

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By Marshall, June 21, 2007 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

From the article: “What irony that the United States and the European Union, both of which cut off aid to the Palestinian government in 2006 when Hamas won the election, have now resumed aid to the PLO-dominated government that lost power through the vote.”

Let’s not forget that Abbas did WIN the Presidential election and still leads Hamas’ leader in the polls.  But more importantly, I think it’s safe to say that Hamas abdicated its legitimacy as a democratic participant when it attacked Fatah, executed its representatives, and drove it out of Gaza.  Can you even imagine this happening elsewhere?  Perhaps the blame should go where it belongs - on the Palestinian people for electing a terrorist organization sworn to the destruction of its neighbor.  Unfortunately, the left’s appointment of Palestinians to the permanent throne of victim hood absolves them of all sins of stupidity, including that of siding with terrorists whose successful efforts at avoiding peace with its neighbor has only deepened their plight and guaranteed that no solution will be found.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Truth be told, who allowed them to form a state? Not Britain. For the longest period of time they were a part of the Ottoman Empire until after the 1st world war. The Jews then were a scant minority and coming for the most part from other countries. Palestine is where the bulk of these people are from, thus the name Palestinian. Granted they were not called that name throughout all time but to cheapen them in this manner is absurd. First they were thrown off their land, land they owned and farmed for generations, then they’re towns flattened and here you go now denying them even a name.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I do not hate Israel. In fact I do recognize them and accept their statehood. However that said, it is obvious the Israeli government is committing crimes against humanity. To turn our backs on such violence is no different than turning our backs on the holocaust.

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By Michael Shaw, June 21, 2007 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

Ernest IE Jimmy Carter….I read the article previously and agree with it. Thanks for presenting it here!

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By cann4ing, June 21, 2007 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

From Democracy Now:  Former Pres. Jimmy Carter has weighed in…Speaking in Ireland, Carter said the US, Israel and the European Union are trying to divide the Palestinian people.  Carter also called the administration’s refusal to accept Hamas’ election win last year ‘criminal.’  He said, ‘The United States and Israel decideed to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah.”

I know there has been a great deal of propaganda presented by our resident Zionists with respect to this particular article.  For those who are interested in piercing the propaganda, there is a video, previously linked to by Robert elsewhere on this site.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=533

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By micah, June 21, 2007 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena: Look, I’m not suggesting that the Palestinian people don’t have a legitimate reason to fight the Israeli occupation. Of course they do. I’m just saying that if Hamas was serious about finding a solution to the problem, they’d start by removing the call for the destruction of Israel from their charter. Since they won’t, I don’t think its unreasonable for Israel to refuse to deal with them.

This issue is among the most horrific of our age, but what I see on this board is a refusal to examine it from every angle and to instead blame everything on the Israelis. Maybe this is a kneejerk reaction to the Zionist-controlled American media that everyone’s so up in arms about, and maybe this is the first place in the world that people could vent about Israel without being considered anti-semetic. But since I grew up with the internet, I know that’s not the case. I find the unwillingness of people on this board to address the rot within the Palestinian cause, which has been hijacked by Islamic extremists, to be naive and unfortunate.

Finally, to equate Israel’s behavior towards Palestinians since its founding in 1948 with Nazi behavior towards Jews during World War II is profoundly inaccurate. I am NOT an Israeli apologist, but their fault in the current situation lies in failing to address demographic impossibility of their existance and forcing the Palestinian people into a holding pattern for generations while they try as a nation (and fail) to figure out how to be simultaneously a Jewish nation and a democratic one.

That might sound dispassionate, but it’s the reality. Which is opposed to the reality that you’re suggesting: That Israel has been engaged in a sixty year effort to ethnically cleanse the occupied territories and erradicate the Palestinian people from the earth through massive extermination. As awful as the conditions in the territories are, this JUST ISN’T THE CASE.  There are more Palestinians today then there have ever been in history, and we all know how technologically superior and armed to the teeth the Israelis are. So how could genocide possibly be the aim of Israel?

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By Charles Barton, June 21, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All you guys know how to do is ro preach hate for Israel, usually by throughly distoring history.  During the Early 1980’s the Israeli government proposed to build new homes for the “refugees” who were living in camps in Gaza and the west ban,  The homes would have modern aminities inclusing electricity, running water and sewer service, and were to be at locations where jobs would be accable.  Both the “Refugeees” and the United Nations opposed the Israeli offer, the refugees out of fear that they would loose their right of return, and the United Nations, becausew the agency that administered the camps would be shut down when the camps closed.  Of corse the Israel haters will take the whole episode as proof of how evil the Israelis are.  Right fellows.

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By Truth Be Told, June 21, 2007 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cyrena:
The arabs on the west bank are JORDANIAN. THAT IS FACT. They are not Palestinian. Palestinian is not an arab designation. Palestinian comes from the ancient name PHILESTINE from the bible. There is no relationship to them at all.
There is no Palestinian people and that is historical truth. Never did these people form an arab state in this area prior to 1948. There has not been a state formed in this area since the ancient Jewish state of Judea. It is now the modern state of the Jews, Israel.
That is the truth whether you want to accept it or not.
Justice was finally achieved in 1967 when Jerusalem was reunited as in ancient days as the Jewish capitol.

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