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Israel Crackdown Puts Liberal Jews on the Spot

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Posted on Mar 15, 2010
AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Israeli soldiers take position next to the highly controversial security barrier, which has been used, critics say, to seize Palestinian land and manipulate the population.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The purge is under way because of the belief within the Netanyahu government that these groups and activists provided evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza to Justice Goldstone. Israel has no intention of lifting the blockade on Gaza, halting settlement expansion, including the 1,600 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem, or reversing its division of the West Bank into impoverished ghettos of Palestinians. The growing brutality and violence of the occupation, no longer easy to deny or hide, coupled with Israel’s growing status as an international pariah, have unleashed a crackdown against all those within the Jewish state who are blamed for the bad publicity. Yuli Edelstein, the Diaspora affairs minister, summed up the witch hunt when he announced that the Cabinet had been “concerned for a time with a number of groups under the guise of NGOs that are funded by foreign agents.”

The Knesset bill, if passed, will force human rights groups to register as political bodies and turn over identification numbers and addresses of all members to the government. These groups will lose their tax-exempt status. Most governmental organizations, such as the European Union, which is a large donor to Israeli human rights organizations, cannot legally pay taxes to another government, and the new law will effectively end European Union and other outside funding. The groups will be mandated to provide the government with the records of all foreign donations and account for how these donations were spent. Any public statement, event or speech, even if it lasts half a minute, by these groups must include a declaration that they are being supported and funded by a foreign power. Those who fail to follow these guidelines, including local volunteers, can face a year in jail.

“This is the first time the human rights dimension of the Israel Palestine conflict has moved center stage,” Finkelstein said. “It has temporarily displaced the fatuous peace process. It is the first time that human rights reports have counted. There are literally, because I have read them, tens if not hundreds of thousands of pages of accumulation of human rights reports condemning Israel going back roughly to the first intifada to the present. The human rights organizations since the 1990s have been quite sharp in their criticism of Israel human rights policy, but nobody ever reads the reports. They are never reported on, with maybe a couple of exceptions, in the mainstream media. The Goldstone report was the first time the findings of these human rights organizations moved center stage. People stopped talking about the peace process and started talking about Israel’s human rights record.”

There is a growing disenchantment among Israelis with the endless occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as well as endemic government corruption. Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, the head of the Israeli military’s Personnel Directorate, admitted recently to UPI that increasing numbers of Israelis are refusing to serve in the occupied territories. “Taking into consideration Israeli Arab youth, we’re facing a situation in which 70 percent of youths will not enlist in the military,” the general told the news agency. The discontent, along with the international condemnation, is inhibiting Israel’s ability to muster international support for further attacks.

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“Israel attacked Gaza to restore what it called its deterrence capacity, its ability to terrorize the Arab world into submission,” Finkelstein said. “But it actually diminished its deterrence capacity because it can’t attack. If they were to attack now, anywhere, all hell would break loose and they wouldn’t get sympathy.”

The numbers of so-called refuseniks are proliferating with groups such as the Courage to Refuse, Shministim and New Profile supporting those who will not serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. It is not that many Israelis lack a conscience, it is not that many cannot delineate right from wrong; it is that the Netanyahu government is determined to see that these courageous voices within Israel will be silenced along with those of the Palestinians.


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By idfgirl, March 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

norman finkelstein is the subject of a great film playing in theaters right now
http://www.americanradicalthefilm.com

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

Your response tells me all I need to know.  You are just another common Isrseli propagandist who runs away when asked to support his claims with sources.

You clearly don’t haev any such sources, or you would have produced them by now.

It’s obvious you know very little about this topic and are poorly informed.  Anyone who tries to argue that Mark Regev is playing down the numbers or ordnance fired into Southern Israel from Gaza, ir truly derranged and out of touch with reality.

Perhaps you should take your second rate Hasbara somewhere else.  It’s not going to wash here.

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By TAO Walker, March 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

No doubt there remains some small comfort to be had by trying to “treat” Palestine/Israel (and even the entire “Middle East”) as if the festering sickness there was somehow an aberration….a hot-bed of MADness in an otherwise sane and stable world.  That is, of course, about as far from “truth” (Can you “dig” it?) as it’s possible to get.

There is no Medicine for what ails the fratricidal Shemites which isn’t equally indicated for all the domesticated peoples everywhere infected with the “global” pathogen that is the ‘dominance’ paradigm….with its “civilization” CONtraption’s eCONomic ‘operating system.’  Yet the every-bit-as-disease-ridden occupants of euro/american officialdom’s corridors-of-“power” CONtinue to insist (for public CONsumption, at-least) that a course of “vaccinations” with their own only superficially different (in the peculiar manifestations of its retro-virulence) “strain,” can somehow divert those erstwhile desert-dwelling sufferers from the assured mass self-(and ‘other’)-destruction upon which they’re presently so obviously and mutually hell-bent.

The europeans, having tried to pawn-off on Palestine the bitter fruits of their own relentless persecution of “the jews,” are helpless to address now, in any effective way, the degenerative CONsequences of that idiotic malefaction.  The americans are up to their wagging double-chins in the fetid cesspool of their own genocidal land-grabbing tendencies, and literally have no solid ground from which to exert any “leverage” at-all on their Zionist counter-parties (or much of anybody else, here in these latter Days, if truth be told)....“moral hazard” with-a-vengeance, if you ask this Old Savage.

So they’re all left with nothing but the empty rhetoric of “road-maps” and such, while a shit-storm building for ten millennia is already overwhelming the monstrous ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical apparatus erected in the vain expectation it would serve to wall-off damned fools from the just desserts of their damnable folly.  Didn’t Albert Camus cover that “syndrome,” and its inevitably “terminal” outcome, in “Masque of the Red Death”?

So, more hair-of-the-dogod that’s eating you alive, tame Sisters and Brothers….anybody?

HokaHey!

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By Go Right Young Man, March 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Shingo,

Then I will shut up and address you no more.  I have no interest in arguing with you over items you know little of.  I will always give a great deal more weight to those whom I trust.

Good luck to you.

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

Your argument that you know several people who work and live in Eilat si not proof of anything, especiallywhern Israle’s own spokeman (Israel propaganda man), says otherwise.

Facts are not even handed and are not based on heresay from peopel you might know in Eilat.  They they are what they are.

So I suggest you either produce resliable sources to back up your numbers, or shut up.

Deal?

You are not known for your even handed reliability.

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By nemesis2010, March 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Israel is a Chihuahua who thinks herself a pit bull while standing alongside of a protective Rottweiler. World opinion of that aggravating little dog—even in the U.S.—becomes more negative every day. There’s a long overdue rude awakening coming for that Chihuahua.

Israel is willing to fight her enemies to the very last dollar and American. But the Empire is old and failing and that arrogant little failed state will soon have to face the consequences of her hubris and crimes. Contrary to what she believes, her latest paramour—the Talivangelists—will stand idly by while her enemies devour her. The new-found love of the Jews by the Talivangelists will be a short-lived one because their prophecies—in the book of the Apocalypse and written by a Jew-hating Jew—see most of the Jews as meat for the grinder. When the proverbial excrement hits the fan the Talivangelists will think it’s the Second Coming of Jeebus and that the Jews are suffering god’s wrath for rejection of their zombie Savior!

Whoever thought that it was a good idea to expropriate millions of people from a land that they have possessed for millennia in order to give it to a people who were dispossessed of it for more than 2,000 years, must have had his head to record levels up his arse. This is not going to end nicely.


@ km0591:

IMO

AIPAC should be made to register as a foreign agent and any politician having contact with that organization should be investigated.

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

You need to pull your head ot of the sand.  The sentiments reflected here have nothind to do with why the I/PO conflict has not been resolved.

The simple answer is the US (aka Israel’s lawyers).  America reserves the exclusive right to be the role peace brokers while giving Israel a pass at every turn.  America sends israel the world’s biggest welfare cheques, guarantees a veto at the UN against criticism, arms Istrel to the teeth and even offers a defacto war guarantee should Israel find itself with it’s back to the wall.

If the US were to cut off support and aid to Israel, that woudl force Israel to deal honestly with it’s neighbors.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Shingo,

I would agree with you if you were correct.  I would also agree with Mark Regev if he were correct.  The internet is wonderful for many things, however, it’s important to make use of multiple sources when there is so much misinformation about the globe. 

I know several people who work and live in Eilat.  I will take them at their word over yours or anyone else.  You are not known for your even handed reliability.

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

ScottSchneider,

The argument that there are worse atrocities taking place in other parts of the world is a lame argument. Israel is unique for many reasons, most importantly that it relies entirely on the US for material and diplomatic support.  The US is Israel’s greatest enabler. And could be reigned in immediately if Congress has the political will to do so.

The other elephant in the room that you deliberately ignored, is that Israeli policies and US support for Israel has already cost us dearly, beginning with the 9/11 attacks.  Not only did Joe Biden remind Netenyahu this week that Israeli policies are risking American lives, but General Petraeus made a request to Washington that the West Bank and Gaza become part fo CENTCOM’s operations.  There is a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel and this is dangerous for the US.

Contrary to your claims, 1967 was hardly a demonstration of Israel’s ability to defend itself.  Israel won that war by launching a surprise attack on Egypt, but Israel’s vulnerability in 1973, was a hug embarrassment for Israel.  In fact, as Glad Atzimon argues, 1967 was the last time Israel won a war.

The last time I looked,  India were not massacring untouchables, and most importantly, India has outlawed such treatment, unlike Israel that has written ethnic discrimination into law. Unlike the Palestinians, all those untouchables are still civilians of India.

The same goes for China and it’s human rights record. 

And the last time I looked, neither India, not china were threatening to drag the US into a war with Iran.
Nice attempt at conflation, but your argument are so worn out a tired, they barely deserve comment.

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,

You’re entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.

In the months of July to Nov. 2008, the total number of rockets and dozen mortars fired into Southern Israel was 15.  Yes that’s right, 15 and none fo those were fired by Hamas.  In fact, the Israle MFA report concluded that Hamas had been “very careful to observe the ceasfire” and arrest the militant groups in Gaza that refused to abide by it.

Listen to Mark regev admit to this fact in this interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6e-elrgYL0

So there were no rockets terrorizing any city.  All commerce, transportation and government services continued with business as usual and the the entire population had littel to fear.  J

Even more remarkable is that Israel agreed ot lift the blockade on Gaza as part fo teh 2008 ceasefire agreement, but went ack on that agreement as soon as the ceaseire came into effect.  So while Israel were violating the ceasfire from day 1, Hamas continuned to observe it regardless.


No this would not just as would happen in any city or town in the world, becasue Israel is the onyl country in the world tha imposing and illegal and cruching blockade on Gaza.  In case you didn’t remmber, teh last time Israle was blockaded, it declared it an act of war.

If the Israelil government wanted to protect Southern Israel from rocket atatcks, all it needed to do was observe the ceasfire.  Israel violated the ceasefire (on the day of teh US presidential election) becasue Hamas was showing signs of behaving too moderately and this was a threat to the Israeli government.

You can read about how Israel always violates ceasefires here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-kanwisher/reigniting-violence-how-d_b_155611.html

Sorry, but propaganda doesn’t hold water, not matter how many times you insist on repeating it.

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By Sodium, March 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have noticed that a poster by the name “Shingo” has already posted on this thread.

Well,as long as Shingo posts here,on this particular forum,he will do a hell of a good job since he is extremely knowledgeable on the topic at hand. And at the top of that he is the most effective debater I have ever seen in the last sixty years. That is to say since the good ol’ days of President Dwight Eisenhower when I was still a college debater. And believe me,I know very well what are the requirements to be a world class debater. Shingo does have all the requirements,as he had shown so,here,on TruthDig,a year ago. I had read every post he had posted and I had concurred with every post he had posted-a fascinating debater,regadless of the spelling mistakes he often makes. It is the critical thoughts,knowledge of the subject matter and novel ideas that matter to me.

Therefore,since Shingo is posting here,I will refrain from posting on this particular thread.

MOST WELCOME BACK,SHINGO.

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By prole, March 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

“It is impossible to be both liberal and defend Israeli policy”…really? Has anyone told that to the rebarbative zionist wardog, Bill Boyarsky? Right here on good ‘ol ‘liberal’ Truthdig, the bellicose Boyarsky was praising the zionazi stormtroopers in their blitzkrieg in Gaza, and urging them on in the very crimes laid bare in the Goldstone Report. On 01/08/09 during the height of the Jewish State’s criminal aggression, in an Orwellian masterpiece of the most despicable doublespeak, that could have had its origins in the Israeli Ministry of Propaganda, the bodacious Boyarsky declaimed: “The goal of Hamas and its soul mates, Hezbollah and Iran, is the destruction of the state of Israel and its Jewish citizens. Israel is defending itself in the Gaza war, even though pictures of dead and wounded Gaza residents on television, on the Internet and in the newspapers give the impression of Israeli aggression. Hamas has cynically helped create that impression by launching its rocket attacks from among civilians”, etc., etc.  Does this in any way affect Truthdig’s liberal credentials for giving its blessings to such deathly dry rot? Is the bloodthirsty Boyarsky a credible columnist for such an alleged ‘liberal’ publication as TD? Not only did TD approve the vicious assault on Gaza condemned in the Goldstone Report through the deceitful lens of zionist extremist Boyarsky but TD continues to shield him from any fallout for it by strictly censoring any comments that are critical of him and his zionist hate-mongering.                                                     
  So we can bet that the brute Boyarsky and his Truthdig censors will be delighted to learn that “The Israeli government, its brutal war crimes in Gaza exposed in detail in the U.N. report by Justice Richard Goldstone, has implemented a series of draconian measures to silence and discredit dissidents, leading intellectuals and human rights organizations inside and outside Israel that are accused—often falsely—of assisting Goldstone’s U.N. investigators.” Truthdig itself will no doubt be pleased to continue with its unstinting efforts to silence anyone who dissents from the Israeli govt./Boyarsky party line.  “’It is the classic case of having your cake and eating it. Not only were any crimes being committed extenuated, but they were beautiful.’” And Israeli crimes are never so beautiful as they are in the ugly sight of the venemous Boyarsky – and his TD backers.
  Sadly, if “There is a growing disenchantment among Israelis with the endless occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as well as endemic government corruption”…then it is probably not in that order. At the time of the infamous invasion of Gaza, over 90% of Israeli Jews supported the criminal attack, along with shills in Amerika like Boyarsky and Truthdig. So, maybe it actually really is that, just like the unconscionable Boyarsky, “many Israelis lack a conscience” and “many cannot delineate right from wrong”. And for the tiny few who do, “the Netanyahu government is determined to see that these courageous voices within Israel will be silenced along with those of the Palestinians.” Albeit, in not quite the same brutal – and often permanent – fashion Palestinians are silenced. And you can be sure too, that Truthdig will go on trying to silence anyone who dares question the loathsome Boyarsky and his illiberal lies.

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By km0591, March 15, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Rodney King said it better and in fewer words, gerard.

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By gerard, March 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Reading through a bunch of comments as oppositonal as these, it is easy to understand why the Israel/Palestine situation remains unsolved. The main jist is blame;  this side is right, that side is wrong, this side is wronger, that side is righter, forever and ever, Amen.

It is bad enough that the interests involved are themselves all caught in this net—except for a minority of rational individuals on all sides who lack political power and are permitted none. Their suggestions and hopes are very apt to be villified and censored, rather than seriously cosidered. Even though they have some evidence to support their suggestions, they lose out in the general acrimony.

If a popular movement from opposing sides could demand, and be supported by outside parties sworn to neutrality and non-interference, and allowed time for balanced discussions (to air grievances and work toward more creative and practical alternatives than violence), there could be some grounds for hope. But the incessant public wrangling over who is more at fault and who is more abused and more deserving is utterly useless to the solution of problems.

This is not to say that some are not more at fault than others, but simply that it does no good to reiterate such facts and pass judgments based on them—and then do nothing more. Nor does it help to arm one side against the other, and egg them on in their desperation by making them feel more abused or more justified.

There’s nothing new in this comment, no magic wand—and it will anger some as trite, stating the obvious, hectoring, etc.  Sorry about that, but mundane practicalities too often get forgotten in the heat of endless partisan argument.

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By john from ojai, March 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel is a rogue state and it’s refreshing that it’s becoming more obvious. Just as the U.S. killings in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t represent the wishes of most U.S. citizens, the occupation and war crimes of Israel don’t represent the wishes of many Jews.
Consider lobbying to stop the $7 million a day U.S. taxpayers give to maintain the apartheid, war crime, nuclear state of Israel. Consider Boycott, Divest and Sanction of anyone who profits from illegal occupation.Consider a one secular state, condo style country for all Palestinians and Jews. That is close to the model that worked peacefully before Zionism.

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By P. T., March 15, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Norman Finkelstein has some interesting stuff on his website.  Click on http://www.normanfinkelstein.com

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By balkas, March 15, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Do’nt read this!

The criminal minds are comimg. Mind u, we’ve had them for 8k yrs: priest- and godful-kings,princes, aghas,amirs, earls, counts, boyars, plemichi, et al.

Whereas there may have not been more than 0001- 000001% of greatest criminal minds amongst us in past ‘good old days’, we have now anywhere bwtn 10-20% of them in any pop.

It shld be noted, that the vast numbers of new ogres had been manufactured. Guess by whom and how? Can i i go on w.o. telling u this? Good, i thought so!

So, of the 10%+ criminal minds, we still may have ab 00001% manufactured by god-nature and the rest manufactured by the naturally and insuperably biocidal oooo1%+; totalling in US at least 50mn people.

It cld be noted that these criminal minds are by far more incurable and biocidal than dahmler, berkowitz, and manson.

Mind u, the biocidal urges of these monsters are embedded deeply in their brains; Damn it,nature or god seems to be doing that but why?

Short of excising parts of their brain,the disease is incuarable.
To them,their life is as natural as it is to the rest of us our own meekish life.

Actually, we all also manufacture the natural criminal minds; mainly, via our common genetic pool.
So it is our duty to spot and stop the criminals before they become our rulers!

Socialist lands also have their own criminal minds; both natural and made. How watchful and determined are the meekish to stop the greatest criminal minds form coming to power!
Well, i don’t know! But hope they wld lay dwn their lives before allowing these monsters to enserf them again.
I wld gladly! Mind u, i am 80 yrs old.tnx

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By firefly, March 15, 2010 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Shingo is right.

Israel pretends that it’s attack on Gaza is ‘self defence’. It isn’t. Israel is the aggressor and it is the Palestinians that are attempting to defend themselves.

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By firefly, March 15, 2010 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

As I’ve said so often before, Israel’s ability to maintain its brutal, sadistic, racist apartheid regime depends on US support.

The US will not be a superpower forever and when oil runs out, the US will lose interest in the Middle East.

Israel has a choice, to be fair and just to the disenfranchised Palestinians and to make peace with all its neighbors, or to face the consequences, which will not be pleasant and will happen, maybe not yet, but some day.

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By firefly, March 15, 2010 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

As I’ve said so often before, Israel’s ability to maintain its brutal, sadistic, racist apartheid regime depends on US support. The US will not be a superpower forever and when oil runs out, the US will lose interest in the Middle East. Israel has a choice, to be fair and just to the disenfranchised Palestinians and to make peace with all its neighbors, or to face the consequences, which will not be pleasant and will happen, maybe not yet, but some day.

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By omop, March 15, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Read on a website comments that the late General Moshe Dayan, allegedly
observed that Israel’s security depended on its being viewed by others as a “mad
dog”. The commentator added that general Dayan may have been correct. But that
he neglected to note that the preferred response of everyone else is to kill the
mad dog before it can decide to go berserk.

Whether the above is relevant or not as to what portends Israel future. Continued
US support for Israel cannot be made at the expense of the US’s national and
internatioal polcies.

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By Wilson, March 15, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Israel should have been placed within the United States. If it were in, say, Iowa, I seriously doubt Iowa farmers would be strapping themselves with suicide bombs and running into Jewish coffee shops.

There is plenty of land in the United States that could have accommodated a Jewish state. Heck, the American Indians have more of a claim to their land than the Jews—having been removed a mere hundreds of years ago, compared to thousands for the Jews.

But, of course, religious fundamentalism and a desire for a self-fulfilling prophecy by Bible-thumping Americans resulted in the Jewish state being place in an area that would ensure constant warfare and Middle East tension.

Oh brother…

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By Jane Marple, March 15, 2010 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Israelis can do whatever they wish, and we’ll still give them whatever they want.

Has no one heard? America is Israel’s bitch.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 15, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

ScottSchneider,

You make some genuinely interesting observations.  Particularly regarding how, in the not so distant past, the cause of the Jewish State was on the tongues of nearly every “Liberal” minded thinker in the West. - right up to the point wherein it was proved that Israel could effectively defend itself and beat back its enemies from all sides.  Quite suddenly the Left’s perceptions changed. - It seems that if the perception is that your small and undefended, no matter who you are or what you believe in, one is worthy of praise and a self-defense. 

-

While many here will go on at length regarding the treatment of the occupants of the West Bank and Gaza via Israel, they will not take the time to consider how Gaza and the West Bank happen to be surrounded by some of the wealthiest per ca pita nations on the globe.  And that these same nations, which happen to be Arab nations who claim to have the West Bank and Gaza’s best interest at heart, have done next to nothing to lift these areas out of some of the worst abject poverty in the entire region.

Arab nations refuse to allow people from these contested areas to immigrate to neighboring countries.  Arab nations refuse to invest in education, nutrition, basic sewage, electricity, building commerce or lift a finger to raise these poor people up out of their poverty.

It seems Arab nations have but a single use for the Palestinians.  That is as a useful foil to the hated Israelis.

Bottom line:  The world’s Arab nations have everything they need to lift the Palestinians out of their poverty.  Yet they willfully keep Gaza and the West Bank living in squallier.

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By RdV, March 15, 2010 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

ScottSchneider-

Except when it comes to Israel we foot the bill and sacrifice our own lives and treasure—from Iraq and now on to Iran.
  The subject is Israel so stop trying to deflect to shift focus. It is moral cowardice to shield it by making all things equal.

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By balkas, March 15, 2010 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

I still think that the fate of shemites of in ex-palestine wld be decided by the world plutos and not by shemites of the mosheic cult.

For one thing plutocratic asocialists are addicted by wealth-power and do not care ab the three major cults.

I don’t think they like mosheic cult. It can be likened onto Mein Kampf which was full of love-praise for germans; just like torah is full of love and praise for the hebrews.

Both of these cults are extremely hateful of some peoples.

But for now world fascists need unrest whereever they can get it- the telos being planet grab at any cost and in any way they can obtain it.
Obviouosly, white and dark ‘jews’ are useful for them.

But once the planet or much of it is grabbed,israel wld have to obey the conquerors in all things or perish.

Let’s face it: even now ?all of the dissenters [individuals and ethnoses]are neo-indians.
Israelis,if they wld dare to spew their hatred and thus be an impediment to plutocratic wealth-gathering or maintaining, will also become new indians. tnx

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By dihey, March 15, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

The so-called “liberal Jews” have been on the spot since 1947 when the U.N. had the temerity to divide the former British Mandate. It was on that day that the U.N. committed political suicide. The U.N. had inherited the Palestinian Mandate from the League of Nations and decided that it was not bound by the terms of the Mandate any longer. Under these terms the Mandator was obliged to prepare the inhabitants for self-rule. It was an act of brazen irresponsibility, much worse than the Balfour Declaration which promised nothing real.

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By ScottSchneider, March 15, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Chris makes some salient points as usual. But the cumulative effect of overemphasis on Israel’s moral failings at the expense of adequate coverage for far worse ongoing atrocities by Arab regimes, China, India and others is a severe moral blight on the self-proclaimed international “Left” that reduces its political effectiveness dramatically. It’s too obvious not to notice.

It’s a matter of group think. In 1947-1948 Israel was the absolute cause celebre of the “Left” and self-styled progressives elsewhere that enunciated not a word on behalf of Moslems in greater Palestine. After 1967 when Israel proved indubitably that it could handle itself military and actually acquired some land at the expense of its enemies, the groupthink shifted 100% in reverse.

There are exceptions, such as Albert Einstein but they are very rare.

When was the last time India got called out for its daily treatment of millions of untouchables every day that clean human waste and live in sewers? Or China for its permanent immiseration of hundreds of millions of peasants and slave laborers within its own borders to builds its consumptive “middle class” while it races with America to covet more oil from the planet and rape it with dirty coal?

Those who profess that the chronic emphasis on Israel’s “apartheid” and simultaneous neglect of apartheid on a far, far greaters scale elsewhere is not anti-Semitism are disingenuous, delusional, or both.

http://scottschneider.dbetv.com/anti-israelism-and-anti-semitism-23

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By photoshock, March 15, 2010 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Israel, needs some of its own medicine. KM0591, you are exactly correct in that AIPAC needs to be required to register as an agent of a foreign power, just as any
lobbying group that does the same thing.
We, the people are explicitly a part of the problem, the United States has as much blood on its hands as the Israeli government does. Yet we allow the government of the U.S. to hand over money to the killers of babies like water.
Is it not enough that we have stood by and watched the exploitation of the Palestinian people, now we are the major supporters of a regime that kills innocent men, women and children for the sake of land? This is why the United States should not be entangled in the affairs of the Middle Eastern Countries. We, the people, cannot long suffer the slings and arrows of the discontent of the Arabic People and continue to support a regime that is ‘rogue and outlaw,’ doing what it wants, when it wants.
The rule of law, the foundation of civilization means
nothing to the Israeli government, for if it did, they would stop the settlements, tear down the wall and work like hell, to live in harmony with their neighbours. Until America stops enabling the government of Israel to act with impunity in their quest for all of the land, the Israeli government will continue their policy of “genocidal” extermination of a whole people, the Palestinians.
We the people, must require of our governments, both, that they stop the madness and start policies of talking and peacemaking, instead of dropping bombs and killing innocents at the slightest provocation, this includes the Hamas government as well. But since the power rests, both economically and physically with the Israeli government it behooves them to start this process and fast.

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By km0591, March 15, 2010 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

The Goldstone report did not challenge Israel’s right to defend itself.  Using the established application of International Law that Goldstone applied to Kosovo, Rwanda, and in other venues, he found that Israel used disproportionate military force and failed to take adequate precautions to protect the civilian population.  Goldstone, using established precedent, found that Israel’s blockade of Gaza has constituted a violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power. 

To say that “Israel is not the exception to basic human nature” as an excuse for these actions is pathetic.  A decent nation of law should be held to a higher standard.  To not do so is a betrayal of Israel and undermines its moral and legal foundations.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 15, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Shingo,

We will simply disagree.  In the months of July to Nov. 2008 several hundred Kassam rockets and several dozen mortars were fired into Southern Israel from the area commonly known as Gaza.

These rockets terrorize an entire city.  All commerce, transportation and government services cease working while the entire population cower in fear.  Just as would happen in any city on the globe.  And, just as would happen in any city or town in the world, the people of these southern districts make demands on their federal government to defend them.

The people of Gaza would do well to understand that after 1750 rockets and 1528 mortar attacks every nation on earth would hit back with tremendous ferociousness.  Israel is not the exception to basic human nature.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, March 15, 2010 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Haven’t the Israelis won?  There is nothing left of
“Palestine” but a network of small bantustans in the
west bank and the demolished refugee camp known as
Gaza.  What would a Palestinian state look like?

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By km0591, March 15, 2010 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

The shedding of crocodile tears for crimes by Israel goes back to the deliberate killing of 31 American sailors on the USS Liberty in 1967.  From that day to the present when Biden was punked by Netanyahu on his last visit, America has been, with rare exceptions, Israel’s unconditional enabler.  The recent insult was predictably followed by obligatory display of Hillary and Joe stamping their feet and pouting in protest followed by a BS Israeli “apology.” 

Face it, Israel does not give a rat’s backside about us other than for the aide and political cover we give them.  Why, as an American citizen, I should want my nation to spend billions of dollars in aide yearly, engage in wars costing trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, and expend diminishing political capital on a pariah nation engaged in an aggressive ethnic-nationalist expansion in defiance of international law completely escapes me.  I care about as much about a Jewish state in Palestine as I would for a greater Serbia in the Balkans,.

Maybe if the Knesset passes the law requiring NGO’s to register under such restrictions, we should require AIPAC to register as the agent of a foreign power?

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 5:00 am Link to this comment

BTW, Go Right Young Man,

There was nothing defensive about teh measures Israel took in Gaza in 2008/2009.  Israle broke a 4 month sceasfire on November 4th, and rejected Hamas’s clals o return to a ceasefire in December.

Just though you might want to know the facts.

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By Shingo, March 15, 2010 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

“Residence in Gaza should understand well the running risk that comes from terrorizing an entire Israeli city with almost daily rocket attacks.”

What difference does it make?  Betwene July and November of 2008, no rockets were fired into Souther Israel, and Israel still broke the ceasefire and massacred the people of Gaza, which many orders of magnitude more severe than “effectively shuts down all of Southern Israel”.

Tzipi Livni told us it was becasue a long ceasefire was not in Israel’s strategic intersts.

When Israle withdrew from Gaza in September 2005, it fired 7,700 shells into Gaza pver teh following 10 months as a parting gift.

Just this week, Israel bombed Southern Gaza, and no rockets were fired.

So you see, it makes no difference whether Gazan’s lob Kassam rockets or mortar bombs into southern Israel, becasue Israel will find a reason to masacre Palestinians, as they have always done. 

It is ferocious, butit’s not retaliation when you pick a fight. It’s not basic human nature, it’s Isral’s nature.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 15, 2010 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

It seems to me that Israel did go too far its Dec. 08 to Jan. 09 defensive measures in Gaza. 

Residence in Gaza should understand well the running risk that comes from terrorizing an entire Israeli city with almost daily rocket attacks. Attacks which effectively shuts down all of Southern Israel.  In other words; it’s not a good idea to lob 1750 Kassam rockets and 1528 mortar bombs into southern Israel.  Eventually Israel, not unlike every nation on earth, will retaliate ferociously. - Basic human nature.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2010 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

While I detest Finkelstein, his assessment of Goldstone, once you strip away the snotty comments about Jewish Liberals, is accurate.  Furthermore, it’s clear that with Netanyahu, Israel is now seeing it’s own Alien and Sedition Acts and Patriot Act.  Yet it hasn’t learned from out experience that these things don’t work, and, happily, destroy the reputations of Presidents. (John Adams bemoaned that his Presidency would be remembered solely for the A&S Acts and was right—that’s all most remember).

The Fundies in Israel, we see, clearly are no different than the Fundies in the US, in the House, in the Senate, and on the USSC.  Nor are they any different than the Fundies in Iran, Libya, the Taliban etc.  Like all Fundies, they seek to shut down dissent and hide their actions.

If Israel is to have a meaningful and just peace, she MUST throw these bastards, er, momzers, out.  We sorta did that here, but we see that they are now truly vicious and desperate to regain power and will stop at NOTHING to do it.  More and more Israelis, like Americans did in 2008, see the acceleration off the cliff and, hopefully, will be able to elect a Liberal government soon.  But expect a defeated ultra-Orthodox Right in Israel to be just as vicious to regain power.  After all, they killed a moderate Prime Minister to do so once before. And they have G-d on their side! Just ask them.

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By The Hapless Capitalist, March 15, 2010 at 3:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I recently saw Ethan Bronner, Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times, give a talk on the difficulties of reporting the Israeli-Palestinian.  This guy was the biggest joke of all time—he is nothing more than a spokesperson for the US-Israeli lobby…no big surprise, but you can read more about it if you go to the following link:
http://maximillianeinstein.com/thehaplesscapitalist/?p=36

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By Ouroborus, March 15, 2010 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Why would this surprise anyone? Draconian has been
their middle name for 50 years; “...there is nothing
new under the sun” Eclesiastés.

Not that Israel would know that.

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By Jonathan, March 15, 2010 at 2:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is an extremely biased and unfair report. It’s very easy to take a position against Israel when the majority of the international media is only showing one side of the coin. In truth the Israeli Defense Forces are perhaps the most ethical and moral military in the world.

I also noticed there was no mention of the thousands of rockets that slammed into Israeli cities fired by Palestinian “freedom fighters.” Perhaps the 8 years of rocket fire should also be labeled as a violation of basic human rights.

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By marcus medler, March 15, 2010 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

What next- no more american aid? This “box”
Israel has placed itself in reminds me of american
fundamentalist misreading of the constitution.
They seem to miss the concept; In order to
protect religion, the state is excluded from it.
Law, the rule of law must be applied to the state
and its agents as well. If it(law) is to have validity.

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