Archive | April 17th, 2010



Labour’s spending cuts pledge: “We’ll cut your throat slowly, the others will cut your head off.” posted by lenin

“Labour’s Ronnie Campbell, fighting to be re-elected as Blyth Valley’s MP, has warned politicians on all sides that they most be more open about the harsh realities of so-called “efficiency savings” and the impact they will have in places such as the North East.

“In an outspoken interview he said his own Labour party was proposing spending cuts which would “cut your throat slowly”.

But, Mr Campbell, said the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats proposals would “cut your head off”.”

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Prelude to Transfer – Military Orders 1649 and 1650

As the editorial from Haaretz states, Israel’s new military orders 1649 and 1650 ‘is liable to give the world clear-cut proof that Israel’s aim is a mass deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank.’ Haaretz, being an impeccably Zionist newspaper, but of a liberal disposition, is worried that the ethnic cleansers, murderers and self-declared racists that constitute Israel’s government, are doing more damage to the Zionist cause than anything the Palestinians have yet been able to muster.
The Zionist position though has always been clear. A Jewish State could only be established where there was a clear Jewish majority and in 1947-8 this entailed the expulsion of the Arab population of Palestine, who even in the area allotted by the UN to the Jewish State constituted half of the population.
As Josef Weitz, former head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonisation Department  in the Histadrut paper Davar of 29th September 1967, citing an entry in his Diary in 1940:

‘Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this country… the only solution is Palestine, at least Western (Mandate) Palestine without Arabs… and there is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries; to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.’
 And then he explained Israel’s ‘dilemma’ after the 1967 War thus: And that is the problem. Instead of 2 miracles, god only saw fit to bestow one miracle on his chosen people. It is therefore necessary for Zionism to try and succeed where god failed. The 2 military orders that have just been issued pave the way for that second miracle.
Unlike the settlers, who have a god given right to live there, the indigenous population will, through the use of legal chicanery that creates such categories as ‘present-absentees’ now classify those who live there as ‘infiltrators’.

At the same time as the Palestinian Authority believes that it is setting up a state, Israel is acting to remove any Palestinian presence from the West Bank. The best comparison with the PA is not so much Quisling as the Jewish Councils (Judenrat) in Europe who compiled the lists and ensured that the Gestapo’s every demand was left. Until, as in the Netherlands, there was no one but themselves left to deport.
Those who believe that the issue is the establishment of 2 States rather than the question of Zionism and its programme of expulsion and massacre are fostering illusions that the Israeli state could ever live as a ‘normal’ state in peace with its own non-Jewish inhabitants, still less those of the Occupied Territories.
Tony Greenstein@

‘When the UN resolved to partition Palestine into two states, the [1948] War of Independence broke out, to our great good fortune [sic!], and in it there came to pass a double miracle: a territorial victory and the flight of the Arabs.
In the [1967] Six Days’ War there came to pass one great miracle, a tremendous territorial victory, but the majority of the inhabitants of the liberated territories remained ‘attached’ to their places, which is liable to destroy the foundation of our State. The demographic problem is the most acute, especially when to its numerical weight is added the weight of the refugees.’ Yosef Weitz, ‘Solution to the refugee problem: The State of Israel with a small Arab minority’, Davar, 29.9. 67.

Under the guise of ‘security’ considerations and a bogus legalism that is in flagrant breach of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, Israel’s Military are laying the legal basis for the forcible ‘transfer’ of the population of the West Bank to Jordan or other Arab countries.
This is another fruit of the ‘peace process’. It is deportation by stealth. There won’t, at first anyway, be mass deportations such as occurred in 1947-8. For that there would be a need for a ‘miracle’ such as a war.


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Mezan Center: “Zionist Deliberately Killed Reuters Cameraman”author On the third anniversary of his deal, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that the Zionist army deliberately shot and killed Palestinian cameraman, working for Reuters, Fadel Shana’a, 23, in the Gaza Strip.

Fadel Shana’a

Center called on the International Community, regional and international Press Agency and agencies that defend the freedom of press to practice more pressures on their governments to seek the prosecution of Zio=Nazi  official involved in such crimes.

The Center added that three years after the killing of Shana’a and despite the clear evidence of his murder by the army, “justice seems to be far away from being achieved.

Shana’a and his crew were first targeted by a missile and less than five minutes later, the army fired more missile at their clearly marked press vehicle.

The Al Mezan Center conducted an investigation into the issue and found out that the press vehicle was clearly marked, the team was filming in an open area in broad daylight and their cameras and equipment were clearly seen.

It stated that the crime is another serious Zio=Nazi violation to Human Rights especially article number 19 of the International Human Rights Declaration and all related declarations including the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The additional protocol of article number 79 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 stated that reporters who work in conflict zones and conduct dangerous mission are considered civilians and must be protected as such.

Friday marked anniversary of the killing of Shana’a; on the same day, the Zio=Nazi army also killed thirteen Palestinians, including eight children while bombarding and shelling the eastern areas of the Gaza valley (Juhr Ad Deek), and the Al Boreij refugee camp.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

* let me translate: warmer than ever

“Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh said Friday that relations between Jordan and Israel “are cold and will continue to be cold until real progress is made toward establishing a Palestinian state.” “

* he is back in business

“The Holocaust survivors who helped build Israel “made our world better,” US Gen. David Petraeus said Thursday.”

* This is Zionism

“It is estimated that around 9,000 Palestinians are detained every year by Israel. According to human-rights groups, up to 700 teenagers and children were detained last year alone. More than 270 Palestinians, who are under the age of 18, are currently held in Israeli prisons.”

* Saudi king as guest of honor for Bastille day: wtf?

“14 Juillet: le Quai confirme que le roi Abdallah sera invité d’honneu”

* If an Arab country did that

“The Communications Ministry announced Tuesday that it was imposing a blanket ban on the import of Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad, citing incompatibility with the European Wi-Fi standard, which is used in Israel. For this reason, several such computers have been confiscated by customs officials at Ben-Gurion Airport. Eden Bar Tal, director of the Communications Ministry, defends the ban.”

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Paris: Action against the inauguration of the Ethnic Cleansing Promenade

The Mayor of Paris, in the presence of nuclear proliferator extraoridnaire Zio=Nazi Shimon Peres, inaugurated a naming of a Parisian promenade after ZIO=NAZI Ben Gurion.

Some Parisians didn’t like having to stroll the banks of the Seine on the new “ethnic cleansing” promenade.


The Ben Gurion promenade is not just an affront to Palestinians and a show of support for Zio=Nazi a year after the Gaza Holocaust . It is also a white French affirmation of France’s own colonial history. It is primarily an establishment “up yours” to the immigrants from Algeria and Africa, Rwanda, the French Caribbeans and Haiti.
It is a statement of white pride. That is how it ought to be understood universally. Many French Jews are proud of this promenade and think it is a great victory of theirs. It could be their victory, but only in the wake of a colossal betrayal. The new Ben Gurion Esplanade is a white messianic text that dares not speak its name.
It is yet confined to riddles; but it is slouching fast to Paris to be born. In the video you can hear the mayor say that he “fully assumes, nay claims, the legitimacy of Nazi Ben Gurion’s struggle”. One shouldn’t doubt that he is ready to claim that struggle, namely, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and its transformation into a European colonial settler state, as all of France’s political class is.
“Ben Gurion” is the figure of speech, Palestine is its literal referent, Jacques Massu is its allegorical meaning and the Marechal Pétain is its timeless eschaton.

From now on, never visit Paris without a stroll on the Esplanade Marechal Pétain.

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April 15, 2010

Look at this article in the Jewish Chronicle headed, Goldstone forced to miss his grandson’s barmitzvah. It looks to me that the Zionist Federation of South Africa has threatened to disrupt Goldstone’s grandson’s bar mitzvah in the event of Goldstone attending.

Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, is effectively being barred from attending his grandson’s barmitzvah, due to be held in Johannesburg early next month.

Following negotiations between the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton, the Johannesburg suburb where the event is due to take place, an agreement was reached with the family whereby Judge Goldstone would not attend the service.

The SAZF was “coming across most forcefully because we represent Israel”, said its chairman, Avrom Krengel. “We understand that there’s a barmitzvah boy involved — we’re very sensitive to the issues and at this stage there’s nothing further to say.”

He added that the SAZF had “interacted” on the matter with the South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, the local Beth Din and others.

Beth Din head Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag confirmed that the Beth Din had been involved in “private talks” on the issue, but had not been asked by the synagogue to give a ruling.

“There was very strong feeling in the shul, a lot of anger” at the idea of Judge Goldstone attending, he said. “I heard that the SAZF wanted to organise a protest outside the shul, all kinds of plans. But I think reason prevailed.”[a grandfather not going to the bar mitzvah of his grandson is reason?]

The SAZF would not confirm whether they had been planning a protest.[typical!]

Rabbi Kurtstag said he believed Judge Goldstone had done “a tremendous disservice not only to Israel but to the Jewish world. His name is used by hostile elements against Israel and this can increase antisemitic waves.

“I understand that he is a judge, but he should have had the sense to understand that whatever he said wouldn’t be good and he should have just recused himself. People have got feelings about it, they believe he put Israel in danger and they wouldn’t like him to be getting honour [in synagogue].”

The agreement between the family and the shul “was quite sensible to avert all this unpleasantness”.[barring a grandfather from his grandson’s bar mitzvah wasn’t unpleasantness]

Reached in Washington where he is currently based, Judge Goldstone, who was a constitutional court judge in South Africa until 2003, said: “After my family consulted with the Jewish community leaders in Johannesburg, I decided, in the interests of my grandson, not to attend the barmitzvah ceremony in the synagogue.”

Rabbi Zadok Suchard of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol had no comment.

The former president of the Constitutional Court Judge Arthur Chaskalson said it was “disgraceful” to pressure a grandfather not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah.

“If it is correct that this has the blessing of the leadership of the Jewish community in South Africa, it reflects on them rather than Judge Goldstone. They should hang their heads in shame.”

But they have no shame. Their heads should hang in a hall of shame.

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Should we be worried by rubbish political posters?

By Joe Wade   Saturday April 17

Don't Panic
As well as political videos, at Don’t Panic we are also known for posters and so it is with a critical eye that we have observed political parties wrangle with the key campaigning weapon, the political poster.

The Tories struck first with an extreme close up of David Cameron’s massive, smooth face. An instant graffiti magnet, it also spawned the website which allows you to deface Dave’s mug from the comfort of your own computer. Labour returned fire and shot themselves in the foot with a David-Cameron-as-Gene-Hunt-from-Ashes-to-Ashes poster (below).

 Why did no-one at Labour HQ think, “Wait a minute, that actually makes Dave look cool”? The Tories quickly released their own version mocking Labour’s incompetence (below).

The fly-weight propaganda bout leads us to ask two questions: why are political parties so useless at advertising? And if they are so hopeless at organising a few posters, how can we trust them to run a whole country?

Ed and David Miliband were the ‘brains’ behind the Ashes to Ashes poster, picking it as the winner from a Labour design competition. Ed and David are the sons of Marxist academic Ralph and they both gained first class degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, before going to study even more politics at Harvard.

Perfect preparation for a quick stint as a political analyst at a think tank before being fast-tracked to the centre of government. David is married to a concert violinist and Ed’s partner is a barrister. You just can’t see them sat in watching Ashes to Ashes with a pizza, and it’s this lack of any connection to the real world that makes it difficult for some politicians to communicate with people like us, who live in it. 

Like the Milibands, David Cameron boarded the express train straight to front bench politics, by way of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, but unlike them he travelled in the Eton carriage (ensuring he didn’t have to sit next to any plebs.)

He has even less experience of real life. People from Eton are so posh that they call people from other famous private schools, like St Paul’s, “oiks.” Ask Gideon Osborne (or George as he now calls himself), as it’s how he was abused by other members of the exclusive Bullingdon Club at Oxford University (Dave, Boris Johnson and Nat Rothschild were also members, see image top left of page). If he’s an “oik” despite being an aristocrat and having an £8 million trust fund, what does that make the rest of us?

This species of politician is multiplying and gaining control of both parties. The Dictionary of Political Thought defines them as the Political Class and describes them as follows: Increasingly important in modern democratic politics, (a class) of people who have made a career in political and administrative institutions, but who have not had any experience of the ordinary workplace.

The Political Class is in the ascendancy due to 2010 being an extraordinary election. 140 MPs are standing down, the biggest number since the end of World War II (partly in response to the expenses scandal). This could mean an exciting opportunity for political renewal, but it also means an awful lot of experience has been lost, especially when you consider who is replacing the veterans.

The think tank New Local Government Network estimates up to 25% of the new intake of MPs in 2010 will be from the Political Class. We have already been shown that they can’t do posters – whether or not they can run a country remains to be seen.

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On April 9, this editor for AMERICAN FREE PRESS had the opportunity to speak directly with famed ex-professional wrestler, author and former governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura in order to discuss a host of subjects, including censorship of his column on the Sept. 11 attacks Click here to read this story.


A respected human rights organization has unearthed an official document dating to the Bush administration, which proves that powerful figures in the White House actively discouraged the official panel set up to investigate the 9-11 attacks from looking too deeply into the attack.Click here to read this story.


Along our southern border, concerns are growing that the escalating drug violence in Mexico will spill into the United States; and for many, on both sides of the border, the fear is very real.  Click here to read this story.


We have a new book and new video available this week: American Conspiracies : Lies, Lies and More Lies that the Government Tells Us  (click here) by Jesse Ventura and an excellent and shocking video called THE MONEY MASTERS: How Banks Create the World’s Money. Both are highly recommended.


Unofficial Leader of Boers in South Africa Murdered

Bilderberg Found In Spain!

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The scene from Berkeley

One reason the South African Jewish religious authority, the board of deputies, has tried to back away from the Goldstone bar mitzvah disinvitation is surely the condemnation below from NY congressman Gary Ackerman (after the jump).

Note that Ackerman identifies himself as the Chairman of the House subcommittee on the Middle East but twice invokes the “Jewish people” in his letter and a Jew’s obligation to his/her community. Isn’t that something of a contradiction? Gosh. But I guess that’s why he’s relating on such familiar terms to Jewish authorities half the world away.

Note too his righteous denunciation of the excommunication. Apologies to Ackerman, I removed most of his endless criticisms of Goldstone in the letter. You can find them somewhere else…

April 15, 2010

Mr. Avrom Krengel

Chairman South Africa Zionist Federation

Johannesburg, South Africa

Dear Mr. Krengel: As an unapologetic critic of the Goldstone report, and of Judge Richard Goldstone’s… , I am appalled and utterly disgusted by reports that Judge Goldstone will not be able to attend the bar mitzvah of his grandson due to protest threats by Jewish groups in South Africa. 

There is absolutely no justification or excuse for carrying legitimate opposition and criticism of Judge Goldstone’s (wretched) professional work into the halls of his family’s synagogue, much less the celebration of a 13 year-old Jewish boy’s ritual acceptance of responsible membership in the Jewish community.

In response to this outrage, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, you said “We understand that there’s a bar mitzvah boy involved – we’re very sensitive to the issues and at this stage there’s nothing further to say.”

Actually, there’s rather a great deal more to say.

I take a back seat to no one in strenuous opposition to Judge Goldstone’s critique…  But there is no excuse for what has been reported if it is true. Compelling Judge Goldstone to absent himself from his grandson’s bar mitzvah offends me as a believer in civil discourse and the power of debate and argument; it offends me as a believer in the fundamental human right to freedom of worship and belief; it offends me as a defender of the Jewish state and the Jewish people; it offends me as the president of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians; and it offends me personally as a Jew and a Jewish grandfather.

People are entitled to their views about Judge Goldstone, and mine is that he… But there is no entitlement to vent justifiable anger about his work at either his community or his family, much less an innocent child.

Doing so is an abysmal moral failure, a disgrace deserving the fullest condemnation by every friend of human freedom and all those who love the Jewish people and the State of Israel. 



Chairman, House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia


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A week or so back Netanyahu asked Elie Wiesel to intercede with Obama. Wiesel said he would, when the two have lunch presently. Well, Obama’s good friend has come to Washington: here is a grotesque ad signed by Elie Wiesel in today’s Washington Post, saying that Jerusalem is Jewish history and the heart of the Jewish people, and it’s never mentioned in the Koran but is mentioned 600 times in Scripture.

Oh and don’t make any “premature” deals about Jerusalem, it’s too delicate. Let the communities learn to work things out together. Under Jewish sovereignty of course.

Wiesel says that Palestinians can build and live anywhere they like in Jerusalem. This is simply not true, West Jerusalem is effectively closed to Palestinians. 

So the colonization continues. More reason why Yakov Rabkin below writes that no rational peace process can take place till the Jewish future is decoupled from the state of Israel.

More craziness: Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union has a piece on Politico today– yes, Politico, which often serves the lobby– saying that Israel can’t give up Jerusalem.

Related posts:

  1. Wiesel scored $500,000 for speech to congregation of Hagee, a Holocaust revisionist

  2. Forgiving Elie Wiesel, Somewhat, on His Opposition to Gypsies in Holocaust Museum

  3. One Holocaust survivor is going to Gaza, another isn’t

I had the privilege of attending a talk by former Florida Senator Bob Graham at the American University of Beirut yesterday. The talk was entitled “From 9/11 to Obama, US Relations with the Muslim World.” When I arrived, Senator and Mrs.

Graham were greeting attendees at the entrance to the auditorium with a handshake and a smile. I’m glad to say that I shook the senator’s hand and smiled at him, too. I think he’s actually a very nice guy. The American ambassador to Lebanon was also there, although regrettably, I didn’t have a chance to speak to her.

For those who aren’t familiar with Graham, a Democrat, here’s the bio that was distributed before the talk:

Senator Bob Graham is the former two-term governor of Florida and served for 18 years in the United States Senate. Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, serving three consecutive terms. One of his most important contributions came during his last term, when he was named Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

He co-sponsored the bill to create the Director of National Intelligence position and co-chaired the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.” Graham later authored 2004’s Intelligence Matters, revealing serious faults in the U.S. national security system. 

I should add that the senator is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The talk was mostly what you’d expect. President Obama is great for everyone and the Cairo speech marked a turning point plus America cares about Muslims and people everywhere. I hope Senator Graham will forgive me if I didn’t adequately capture the thrust of his lecture, but that’s what I took away from it.

The talk ended after about forty minutes or an hour, and I was the first one to be called upon during the Q&A portion. That was probably because I was right up front in the third row. I had lots of questions about Iran, Hezbollah, American imperialism, and Senator Graham’s assertion that the greatest threat to America is the one posed by terrorists with biological or nuclear weapons. But I only managed to shoot off three. 

Now, I believe that the biggest threat to American interests in the region is the widespread perception of hypocrisy and the disjuncture between American words and deeds. I hoped to ask a few very loaded questions to express that point to the senator. 

Here are the questions that the senator was kind enough to take after asking for my name and what I did (he asked that of everybody): 

1 What’s your view of President Obama’s evident expansion of executive power, most notably his program focused on the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens in Afghanistan, as reported on extensively by Glenn Greenwald?

2 Is US complicity in the siege of Gaza and the collective punishment of the Palestinians there enhancing America’s capacity to pursue its interests in the region?

3 And as a follow-up, on what basis did the US reject the outcome of the Palestinian elections in 2006?

This is how Senator Graham responded:

1 He didn’t know anything about the program, and this was the first time he was hearing anything about it.

2 The US supports the two-state solution and the right of Palestinians to a state of their own.

3 The Palestinians elected a terrorist organization, etc… 

When Senator Graham was answering the third question, he repeatedly looked to the US ambassador in the front row who was nodding at him. That gave me the impression that some of these questions were anticipated and that he’d been coached. When in doubt, regurgitate a talking point. 

While many of the other questions were softball (lots and lots of sympathetic Americans in the audience helped me forget where I was for a moment) a few focused directly on AIPAC and the eighty-odd senators who signed the AIPAC letter to the president. Senator Graham did not dodge these questions and spoke guardedly about the role of special interest groups in American politics, and referred to AIPAC obliquely. He also said that Israel was asked to become a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty this week. 

Whatever I thought of most of what the senator had to say, this was progress.

Related posts:

  1. Lindsey Graham Where Are You?
  2. Paul Hodes could be 14th Jewish senator
  3. Zakaria double-teams Barghouti with two Talking-Points-Zionists

Yakov Rabkin, a professor of history at the University of Montreal, lately presented a paper on the challenges to Israel’s legitimacy at the National Press Club in Tokyo. Rabkin is the author of A Threat from Within: A History of the Jewish Opposition to Zionism. Rabkin (whose website is here) granted us permission to publish his article.


Israel has been singularly successful in ensuring her military, economic and political dominance in the region. In recent years, there have been fewer terrorist attacks on Israelis, Palestinians are badly divided, Israel enjoys solid support from major countries, and her scientists are among the Nobel Prize laureates.

Israel is about to be admitted to the OECD, the select club of wealthy nations, and her cooperation with NATO augurs well for Israel’s eventual integration into this military alliance. Yet, in spite of these remarkable achievements Israel remains insecure: she fears delegitimation. 

A few months ago, a veteran Israeli journalist observed that Israel’s legitimacy “has been worn away, and the idea of a Jewish state is now open to attack. The Jewish people’s right to sovereignty and self-defence is now controversial. Paradoxically, as Israel gets stronger, its legitimacy is melting away. A national movement that began as “legitimacy without an entity” is becoming “an entity without legitimacy” before our very eyes.” Earlier this year, Israel’s Reut Institute, a nationalist think tank, issued a similar warning:

“Israel is facing a dramatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state. The groups promoting this delegitimacy aim to isolate Israel and ultimately turn it into a pariah state.”


What are the main elements of this seemingly paradoxical delegitimation? Reut lists five: legal, economic, academic, cultural, and military. Firstly, legal challenges have been brought against Israelis on foreign trips, including military officers and ministers. They may be subject to prosecution as war criminals in countries like Belgium, Spain and Britain.

Zionist fund-raising agencies, such as the Jewish National Fund, which owns most lands in Israel and leases it exclusively to Jews, are threatened with removal of its tax-exempt status in several countries. Law suits have been filed, including one in Quebec, against companies accused of “aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with Israel, the Occupying Power in the West Bank”, in colonization of the territories conquered in 1967.

Secondly, on the economic arena, Israel has faced boycott of its exports, particularly those produced in Zionists settlements in the territories. These actions are yet to have a significant economic effect, but they are spreading. Trade unions such as CUSATO (the Congress of South African Trade Unions) and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are at the forefront of these actions.

This can be seen as an example of the shift – from left to right – in international support for Israel in the course of her short history. The first country to grant Israel de-jure recognition in 1948 was the USSR, which promptly supplied the new state, via Czechoslovakia, with badly needed arms. Socialist parties around the world, impressed by her collective agricultural settlements (kibbutz) and socio-economic equality, used to offer Israel solid political support.

Conversely, Israel’s supporters today tend to come from wealthier and more conservative circles while trade unions and students organizations are at the forefront of the delegitimation campaign. It is also among conservative Christians that one finds Christian Zionists, who are four to five times more numerous than the entire Jewish population of the planet.

Unlike the profoundly divided Jews, Christian Zionists offer Israel religiously unanimous and unconditional support. Zionist churches have become a major source in providing political, moral and financial succour to Israel, and in particular to Zionist settlers in the West Bank.

Thirdly, academic boycott of Israel has been on the table for several years, and it is supported by a number of British and American Jews as well as Israeli academics. Israeli universities are portrayed as major contributors to Israel’s military power used against the Palestinians.

Fourthly, cultural events, such as the recent Toronto film festival, which the Israeli government has tried to use in its effort to “re-brand” Israel as a modern sophisticated country, have been disrupted by withdrawal of prominent participants protesting Israel’s action in the territories occupied in June 1967. Here again, prominent Jews such as the Canadian author Naomi Klein led the campaign.

Finally, Israel’s preeminent position as the world’s largest exporter of arms and security equipment (in proportion to its population and GNP) has attracted its share of hostile attention. There is a consistent effort to expose deals with Israel, which tends to lead to their cancellation or at least deters their renewal. 

Comparisons of Zionism with apartheid and of Israel with racist South Africa constitute, perhaps, the most potent strategy in the delegitimation campaign. One may recall the decision to consider Zionism a form of racism that was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1985 and revoked several years later. Students on dozens of campuses around the world organize the Israel Apartheid Week, activities which feature prominent speakers and otherwise distribute information damaging Israel’s reputation.

It is noteworthy that Jews play a growing role in this and other activities that present Israel in unfavourable light. Their participation has at least two consequences: it undermines Israel’s claim to speak and act on behalf of world Jewry and it casts doubts on accusations made by Israel and her advocates around the world that all opposition to Zionism is antisemitic. We shall later return to the issue of Israel as “the state of the Jewish people”.

Comparisons with apartheid gain particular credibility when made by personalities such as South Africa’s Nobel peace prize laureate bishop Desmond Tutu: 

I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. … This humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.

Israeli supporters prefer to ban, rather than argue about, comparisons of Israel with apartheid South Africa. To do so, they conflate opposition to Zionism with antisemitism, and try to discredit those who make such comparisons as inveterate antisemites. 

Advocates of Israel accurately argue that she is not the worst violator of human rights. But they are less convincing when they explain the focus on that one country is a sure sign of antisemitism or Jewish self-hate. Rather, many Jews respond to the traditional urge to assume moral responsibility. They aim at preventing what Jewish tradition calls “profanation of the Divine name”, in other words, criminal and deplorable acts to be committed by Jews. “My anguish and anger in the Middle East focuses on Israel precisely because I am a Jew.

It is the same Jew in me that is more outraged by a Bernie Madoff [a financier who stole over $60 billion from his clients] than I would have been had this criminal been named Kelly or Rodriquez.”

Without assuming any moral superiority, Jews were disproportionately active in the struggle against apartheid and Vietnam War, and nowadays they speak and act against injustice in Israel/Palestine well beyond their relative numbers. According to Richard Falk, a Princeton don and currently UN Rapporteur for Palestine, “a Jew must honour conscience and truthfulness above tribal identities should these conflict”. 

Quite a few Jews, in Israel and elsewhere, feel torn between these two allegiances and must eventually come to terms with the contradictions between the Jewish moral tradition they profess to uphold and the Zionist ideology that has in fact taken hold of them. According to Marc Ellis, American Jewish theologian, ““Jews are being split less in terms of their experience of Israel and America than in relation to conscience and what Jews are willing to do and what they will refuse in terms of Jewish history and memory. Instead of splitting apart around issues of geography and culture, a civil war of conscience has begun.”

This specific moral compunction felt by Jews, precisely because Israel claims to act in their name, is compounded among many Christians with a pronounced interest in the Holy Land whose image they find tarnished by violence, particularly when perpetrated by tanks and gunships bearing the Star of David that used to be associated with Judaism and its commandments. In neither case antisemitism seems to be the motive force behind opposition to Zionism. 

Just how seriously Israeli elites take the attempts to portray their country as the last bulwark of European colonialism can be seen in a speech of Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC, a major constituent of the Israel lobby in the United States, earlier this year:

But Israel should be judged by the same standards applied to all nations, and allegations against Israel must be grounded in fact. One allegation that is not is the attempt to describe the Jews as foreign colonialists in their own homeland, one of the great lies of modern times.

In my office, I have a signet ring that was loaned to me by Israel’s Department of Antiquities. The ring was found next to the Western wall, but it dates back some 2,800 years ago, two hundred years after King David turned Jerusalem into our capital city.

The ring is a seal of a Jewish official, and inscribed on it in Hebrew is his name: Netanyahu. Netanyahu Ben-Yoash. That’s my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back 1,000 years earlier to Benjamin, the son of Jacob, One of Benjamin’s brothers was named Shimon, which also happens to be the first name of my good friend, Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Benjamin, Shimon and their ten brothers roamed the hills of Judea.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel cannot be denied. The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied. The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital. 

In essence, the Prime minister affirms the historical, linguistic and religious continuity of the state of Israel, an heir to the Kingdom of David and other protagonists of the Bible. He appears alarmed by recent scholarship, produced by Jews and Israelis, that challenges his view in all the three aspects of continuity. 


In terms of ethnic connection, Zionists postulate that Jews from countries as different as Poland, Yemen or Morocco belong to the same people. Many, including Israel’s Prime minister, believe them to be descendents of the Biblical Hebrews. In his recent book Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel-Aviv University challenges these beliefs, arguing that the Jewish people, as an ethnic concept, has no historic legitimacy and was simply “invented” for the needs of Zionism in the late 19th century.

Any nationalism needs a nation to begin with. Interestingly, even Sand’s scholarly critics agree that the claim to ethnic continuity of the Jews through millennia is simply not serious.

Moreover, Sand shows affinity between Zionist and antisemitic ideas. Zionism affirms the ethnic definition of the Jew modelled on Eastern European prototypes. Thus Zionists accept the antisemites’ view of the Jews as a distinct and therefore alien people or race. This is why most Jews rejected Zionism from the very beginning.

They saw that Zionists played into the hands of their worst enemies, the antisemites: the latter wanted to be rid of Jews while the former wanted to gather them to Israel. The founder of Zionism Theodore Herzl considered antisemites “friends and allies” of his movement. This makes it hard to argue that Israel was meant to be a bulwark against antisemitism, and, sadly, only in Israel a Jew is likely to be killed simply because of being Jewish.

No wonder that, in spite of consistent efforts by Zionist organizations, most Jews have chosen to live outside Israel, including those Jews, who change their country of residence. This weakens the claim to be “the state of the Jewish people” that is the ideological foundation of the current state of Israel. / In fact, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians threatens not only Israelis but also Jews the world over.

Israel’s Roth Institute found that Israel’s attack on Gaza was practically the only factor driving the dramatic spike in anti-Semitic incidents that occurred in the world in 2009. These findings conflict with Israel’s claim to be the ultimate protector of Jews all over the world, a crucial argument in favour of Zionism.

From the language perspective, Gil’ad Zuckermann, an Israeli linguist teaching in Australia, tries to shake another pillar of Zionism – the rebirth of the Hebrew language. He finds that the language created by Zionists is not Semitic but Indo-European. This should not be surprising since the pioneers of the new vernacular were mostly Eastern European immigrants, whose native tongues were Russian, Polish and Yiddish.

It is these pioneers (whom Shlomo Sand considers “the Yiddish people”) that created “the Israeli language” as Zuckerman prefers to call it. He argues that the use of Hebrew roots and words is overshadowed by massive structural and syntactic influence of the European languages and by a consistent effort at secularization of the religious idiom.

The modern Hebrew language appears as “invented” as the transnational “Jewish people” investigated by Shlomo Sand, and this casts doubt on the linguistic continuity of Zionism invoked by the Israeli Premier.

Finally, there remains the claim to spiritual legitimacy of Zionism as an heir to Judaism and Jewish tradition. Religious concepts such as the Holy Land, the Promised Land and the Chosen People have become the essential part of the Zionist vocabulary.

However, the founders of the Zionist state were profoundly secular, and so is the majority of Israeli Jews. According to a sarcastic remark of the Israeli scholar Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, “ our claim to this land could be put in a nutshell: God does not exist, and he gave us this land. ”

In fact, Zionism has provoked most durable opposition precisely from the traditional Jewish circles, whose commitment to Judaism is beyond doubt. This Jewish opposition reflects the fact that Zionism has been a break with the past, one of the last revolutionary movements seeking to transform man and society. 

Thus on three fundamental accounts – religious, ethnic and linguistic – the historical legitimacy of Zionism is seriously contested. The Israeli historian Boaz Evron reminds us that:

The State of Israel, and all the states of the world, appear and disappear. The State of Israel, clearly, will disappear in one hundred, three-hundred, five-hundred years. But I suppose that the Jewish people will exist as long as the Jewish religion exists, perhaps for thousands more years. The existence of this state is of no importance for that of the Jewish people…. Jews throughout the world can live quite well without it. 

Decoupling the fate of the state of Israel from the future of the Jews opens possibilities for a more rational political approach to the conflict in Israel/Palestine. 


These two challenges to the Zionist character of Israel – international and Jewish – must be seen in the context of current efforts to bring peace to the embattled Western Asia. President Obama tends to rely on legal principles in his search for a negotiated settlement.

When Israeli politicians accuse Obama’s two close advisors of being self-hating Jews, they weaken the emotional view of Israel as the “the state of the Jewish people”. 55 percent of American Jews approve of the way the Obama administration is handling U.S.-Israel relations, (compared to less than 10 percent of Israeli Jews), this emphasizes the serious split that Israel and Zionism have fomented among Jews. This split makes it possible to treat and discuss Israel as any other state, on its merits, rather than with emotional references to Jewish history.

The founding fathers of Zionism dreamt of building “a normal country”. They built Israel into a mighty regional power armed with nuclear and other sophisticated weapons. The current Prime minister also argues that Israel “should be judged by the same standards applied to all nations.”

Indeed, Israel should be judged according to accepted international standards as a major military power, rather than as a collective victim of past persecutions of Jews in Europe. / Israel was founded as a revolutionary break with the past, and there is no historical, religious or moral reason to accept her claim to exceptionalism. Recent statements by U.S. military and diplomatic experts show that this normalization has begun.

General David Petraeus in testimony before Congress argued that the continuing conflict in Israel/Palestine harms U.S. security interests. No less importantly, the percentage of Americans who consider Israel is an U.S. ally has fallen from 70% in August 2009 to 58% in March 2010. 

An eventual return to normalcy and rationality in analyses of Israel/Palestine may help in the search for peace. Afrikaner nationalists also used to consider themselves “the chosen people” and related to their colonization of South Africa’s interior as a religious obligation. They too feared the prospect of “being thrown into the sea” should their dominant position vanish.

Yet, a peaceful transition took place, and one of its architects sees in it a hope for the Holy Land. Bishop Tutu remarks that: It is not with rancour that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation.

True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute. “ 

Significantly, the main Jewish newspaper in South Africa recently published an editorial, which concluded with a question: “Will the Israeli-Palestinian bloodletting go on, tragically, until there is “no choice” but a settlement as happened in South Africa? Given the strength of both sides, that will be long time coming. In the meantime, how many lives will be lost and how much destruction caused?”

Leo Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with these words: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. His observation applies to states no less than to families. No two states’ predicament and history are the same. Yet some parallels are not only unavoidable but can also be instructive and even hopeful.

Comparisons of Zionist practices with apartheid in South Africa are not only attempts to delegitimize Zionism, but may also be seen as road signs towards a more inclusive and therefore less violent political framework. In other words, the ongoing delegitimation of Zionist Israel may stimulate a non-violent emergence of a pluralist and democratic Israel, living in peace with her citizens and neighbours. The impasse of the U.S. sponsored road map towards the two-state solution makes such evolution more probable.

Richard Falk seems to recognize peace-enhancing aspects of the attempts to delegitimize the Zionist character of Israel. To face this challenge to its legitimacy, writes Falk, “it would seem to require an Israeli willingness to abandon the core Zionist project to establish a Jewish state, and that does not appear likely from the vantage point of the present.

But always the goals of a legitimacy war appear to be beyond reach until mysteriously attained by the abrupt and totally unexpected surrender by the losing side. Until it collapses the losing side pretends to be unmovable and invincible, a claim that is usually reinforced by police and military dominance. This is what happened in the Soviet Union and South Africa, earlier to French colonial rule in Indochina and Algeria, and to the United States in Vietnam.”

During his exile, less than a decade before the end of the USSR, the Soviet dissident and father of the H-bomb Andrei Sakharov remarked: “I do not have any hope for democratic change in the near future. But the mole of history digs invisibly, and we know that historical changes occur suddenly”.

Related posts:

  1. Did Jewish Identity Stand in the Way of the Peace Process at Camp David?
  2. ‘Peace Now’ suggests that election will stymie ‘peace process’
  3. Jewish Soldiers Protecting Arab Olive Harvest Provide Glimpse of One-State Future

Overheard at UC Berkeley while people were waiting to get into the room for the divestment vote:

Being a part of the tremendous coalition effort to pass a divestment bill at Berkeley was quite simply an ecstatic experience.

As my colleague Sydney Levy said, “The movement grew by an enormous leap today.”

First, the vote itself: after the UC Berkeley Student Senate originally voted on March 18, by a margin of 16-4, to divest from companies that profit from the occupation, that vote was vetoed by the Senate president. The Senate needed 14 votes to overturn his veto, but early this morning, after an epic 10 plus hour meeting, senators found they had only 13 yes votes with one abstention.

So the students tabled a vote to overturn the veto. This means the veto stands but can still be overturned later–there will be much continued lobbying and activism in the coming weeks. (Meanwhile, some weeks ago AIPAC openly threatened to take over the UC government to block the bill.)

But in many ways, the vote itself was not the star of this story. For anyone who was there last night and until 7:30 this morning when the forum ended, it was clear what the future looks like.

For one, the smart money is on the members of UC Berkeley’s Students for Justice with Palestine (SJP), the group leading this effort. They are a remarkable multi-ethnic group that seemingly includes every race, religion and ethnicity including Muslims and Jews, and Israelis and Palestinians. They are just brilliant thinkers and organizers and driven by a clear sense of justice and empathy.

They spent a year researching and writing the divestment bill, and I can’t express how much I love and respect them and how much hope they make me feel. And there are students just like them on every other campus in the world.

Second, the feeling on campus and in the room was electric. We filled an enormous room that fits 900. Most stayed through the entire night. If you can imagine, the evening started with remarkable statements by divestment supporters Judith Butler, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, Richard Falk, Hatem Bazian and George Bisharat. And then the extraordinary parade of students and community members who spoke on both sides of the issue until it was past sunrise.

And though the final vote still hangs in the balance, the fact remains that the vast majority of the Senate voted to divest. The bill garnered the support of some of the most famous moral voices in the world, a good chunk of the Israeli left (9 groups and counting), nearly 40 campus groups (almost all student of color groups and one queer organization) plus another 40 US off-campus groups.

In addition, the room was filled with Jewish divestment supporters of every age including grandmothers and aunts and uncles and students. Our staff, activist members, and Advisory Board members like Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Daniel Boyarin, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb and Noam Chomsky each played critical roles in the effort. And of course, all of you who generated over 5,000 letters of support.

So much has changed since Gaza. Just 2 years ago we secured only 4 pages of Jewish endorsement letters for a similar selective divestment effort. This time, we put together 29 pages of major Jewish endorsement statements (which you can download here), and the list continues to grow by the day. We also made 400 bright green stickers that said “Another (fill in the blank) for human rights. Divest from the Israeli occupation” and gave every single last one away.

As attorney Reem Salahi said to me, “When I was a student here in law school 2 years ago, no one spoke about divestment. Now everyone is talking about it.”

For those of us there, it was clear–the room was with divestment. The senators were with divestment. And given the endorsements that kept pouring in up to the last second, from Nobel prize winners, from Israeli peace groups, from leading academics and activists–it seemed like the whole world was with divestment.

There were a number of Jewish students who expressed seemingly real discomfort if the divestment bill should pass. (As it turned out, they were repeating these talking points almost verbatim, with histrionics encouraged.) Many said they wouldn’t feel safe on campus, others said they would feel silenced, a few said young Jews would no longer want to come to UC Berkeley.

While feeling for their discomfort, it was difficult to watch how speaker after anti-divestment speaker seemed unable to distinguish between the discomfort of infrequent dirty looks, and rare nasty or bigoted name-calling, and the “discomfort” of having your home demolished or of having only toxic water to give to your family or of being shot or stuck at a checkpoint for hours in the sun.

They were unable to make the distinction between “feeling silenced” because the bill might pass against their wishes, and being silenced because you are jailed for your nonviolent activism or because you can’t get a visa to travel or because your story is virtually invisible in film, in history books, in the mainstream media, everywhere.

I of course wasn’t the only one who noticed this. Students of color, and one student senator in particular, beautifully articulated what it meant to come to campus “already marginalized.” That is certainly a part of why so many student of color campus groups support the divestment effort, and why the links between being anti-racist in Israel/Palestine and anti-racist in the U.S. (and elsewhere) are particularly strong, clear, and important — and these students know it.

Which makes the statements of the anti-divestment Jews all the more striking in juxtaposition to the statements of the many Jewish students who supported divestment, each of whom said, “I feel safe on this campus.” And the progressive Jewish UC-Berkeley senator who said, “this divest bill will actually make me feel safe” and “this [bill] is creating space for Jews to have a community here. I’ve never been prouder to be a Jew.”

And that, if anything, suggests the most exciting part of what happened here.

It’s so clear to me how the organizing itself, and the ways it brought all of us, but especially Jews and Muslims and Arabs of every age together, is the solution. When peace happens, it will radiate outward from these relationships, mirrored in the Israeli-Palestinian relationships in places like Bil’in and Sheikh Jarrah.

This was so apparent when I saw, on one side of the room, Jewish and Palestinian and Muslim students literally leaning on each other and holding hands for support–and on the other side of the room, a relatively small (and by their own admonition, fearful) group of Jews that seemed to mostly have each other. It was very jarring and poignant and deeply sad.

The future is clear and it’s already here. It is a multicultural (and queer-integrated) universe bound together by a belief in full equality. Period.

Silence and apathy are the friends of the status quo. Sunlight, debate, facts, passion- these are what justice requires to grow. Open debates like the one UC Berkeley held last night simply must happen at campuses everywhere. The students of SJP have already won by making this debate happen.

The whole campus is talking about Israel and Palestine. Last night’s forum and vote will forever impact the lives of every person who was in that room. And the new connections made have strengthened the movement in ways none of us imagined.

No wonder Israeli Consulate General Akiva Tor stayed for the entire vote. If I were he and it were my job to protect Israel’s occupation, I’d be worried. Very worried.

This morning, not hours after the meeting ended, I found an email in my inbox from an SJP group at another campus. “We want to introduce a divestment bill on campus and were wondering if you might assist us with speakers…”

Let this new stage begin.

Cecilie Surasky is the Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Related posts:

  1. Anti-divestment talking points: Avoid the facts and claim victimhood
  2. Berkeley student senate votes for divestment, 16-4
  3. Follow the Berkeley divestment debate live

Yesterday it was reported that the South African Zionist Federation and other religious bodies had participated in the decision to bar Richard Goldstone from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah. The JTA said that Goldstone was “pressured” into agreeing not to attend. Wire services reports:

An agreement with the family, that Goldstone would not be in attendance at the synagogue service, was reached after negotiations between the SAZF and the Sandton Shul, where the event is due to take place. Avrom Krengel, chairman of the SAZF, who was reportedly not keen to reveal much, said: “We understand there’s a barmitzvah boy involved – we’re very sensitive to the issues; at this stage there’s nothing further to say.”

While Krengel said the SAZF had interacted on the matter with the chief rabbi and others, his organisation was “coming across most forcefully because we represent Israel”. Goldstone was reluctant to reveal further details, and is reported to have said: “In the interests of my grandson, I’ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”

This decision was so shocking that the South African religious leadership is now backing away from any responsibility in the matter. Thus Zev Krengel, national chairman of the Jewish Board of Deputies. Notice the prevarication near the end of the statement:

Dear Community Member

It has been widely reported in the media that Judge Richard Goldstone has been barred from attending his grandson’s barmitzvah as a result of pressure from certain sectors of the Jewish leadership. While it has not been involved in this matter, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies was concerned that it would turn into a divisive issue within the Jewish community, and has therefore carefully investigated it to establish the correct facts. 

What has emerged is that, contrary to what many media reports alleged, at no time was Judge Goldstone prohibited from, or even requested, not to attend the bar mitzvah ceremony by any organisation or individual. Rather, this was a decision voluntarily taken by the Goldstone family and the other respective parties.

Certain senior Jewish communal and religious leaders were certainly involved in the discussions around the topic, but in no way did they attempt to dictate to or otherwise pressurize the family into arriving at their decision.

… At the same time, the right to freedom of expression needs at all times to be exercised with sensitivity, with due regard to the appropriateness of the forum and occasion. Taking into account, with due sensitivity and understanding, the feelings of others goes a long way towards preventing unnecessary conflict. 

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.


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Palestinian-American scholar Rashid Khalidi is a quiet, mature leader on the issue who should be in the Obama braintrust but has been exiled because he challenges the orthodoxy.

The other night at Columbia University he gave a talk on the Mamilla cemetery desecration in Jerusalem, undertaken by the Simon Wiesenthal Center so as to build a “Museum of Tolerance” over Muslim graves from 800 years ago, then explained the project in the context of Jerusalem.

Though Mamilla is in West Jerusalem, Israel is rapidly colonizing and consolidating as much of the city as it can, as Jewish, because under the Clinton parameters of 2001, Jewish areas are to go to Israel and Palestinian areas to the Palestinian state. Well, if Israel has transformed Arab neighborhoods like Silwan and el Walaja and greater Bethlehem into Jewish neighborhoods, then presto, that’s the Jewish state.

Here at Foreign Affairs, Khalidi expands the analysis to show that Jerusalem is at the heart of the dispute, and that anyone who endorses the two-state solution must abide by long-dishonored principles regarding the city: that it is international in character, that its Arab population must be able to come and go freely.

One telling problem was the media’s widespread use of the Israeli terms “disputed” and “neighborhoods” to describe East Jerusalem’s status and the illegal Jewish-only settlements proliferating there. There is nothing disputed about East Jerusalem’s status under international law as understood by every country besides Israel: it is universally considered occupied territory.

Similarly, Israeli settlements in the parts of the city that lie across the Green Line are in clear contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from moving its own population into occupied territory.

Jerusalem is the slated location for the capital of an independent Palestinian state, and this is not a matter to be haggled over as far as the Palestinians and Arab and Islamic leaders are concerned. At least 40 generations of leading figures in Palestine’s and the Islamic world’s political, military, religious, and intellectual history — ranging from generals in Saladin’s armies and Sufi saints to great scholars and distinguished judges — are buried in the ancient Mamilla cemetery, located in present-day West Jerusalem.

Part of this great historic landmark is now being excavated in order to pave way for a “Museum of Tolerance” to be built by the Los Angeles–based Simon Wiesenthal Center, despite the protests of the families of those buried there and of many leading Israeli academics and organizations. Its completion would erase not only part of Jerusalem’s Palestinian and Islamic heritage but also part of the heritage of all mankind that makes this city so important to the entire world.

Today, Jerusalem is the geographic center and communications hub of the West Bank. By walling the city off from its Arab hinterland and building fortresslike settlements in concentric rings around the city — and, increasingly, within its remaining Arab neighborhoods — Israel has succeeded in fragmenting and isolating Arab population centers within the city.

These settlements also hinder the flow of north-south traffic through the West Bank, leaving Israel as the master of a terrain speckled with tiny Bantustan-esque islands of Palestinians….

When it comes to Jerusalem, a final-status negotiation that begins from the status quo — the result of successive Israeli governments establishing settlements as faits accomplis — will be unacceptable to any Palestinian leader.

Even a return to the status quo ante of 2000 is insufficient, given Israel’s aggressive reshaping of Jerusalem’s surface and subterranean landscape since the 1980s. One need only walk through the streets of Jerusalem with a sense of what they once looked like to understand how takeovers of key buildings; strategically placed new housing developments, roads, and infrastructure; extensive archeological excavations; and the digging of a vast network of tunnels under and around the Old City were intended to fragment Arab East Jerusalem and permanently incorporate it into Israel.

In the end, only a negotiation in which all of Jerusalem is placed on the table will suffice.

Related posts:

  1. Simon Wiesenthal Center launches PR campaign to whitewash Jerusalem desecration
  2. No, Gilo is not East Jerusalem
  3. Weekly Sheikh Jarrah protest greeted with hostility in West Jerusalem, cheers in East Jerusalem

From Haaretz:

She added: “But we believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree to an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the ’67 lines, with agreed swaps, and Israel’s goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israel’s security requirements.” 
“Subsequent developments”? She means law-breaking settlement activity.

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Jonathan Cook in the National interviews a Palestinian member of the Knesset in Israel who is demanding that Uri Blau’s report ahead of the Gaza war for Haaretz, which was censored, be published. The Blau report is linked by the Knesset member to the eventual Goldstone report on alleged war crimes.

And note that Uri Blau is now excommunicated, as the judge is. These are desperate times for Jews of conscience. These really are like the days of the Shabbatei Zvi, when the mass of Jewish opinion followed a charismatic mountebank. Cook:

Haneen Zoubi, an MP who previously headed an Israeli media-monitoring organisation, said it was “outrageous” that the suppressed report was still secret so long after the Gaza attack. She is to table a parliamentary question to Ehud Barak, the defence minister, today demanding to know why the army suppressed the article and what is preventing its publication now.

Mr Barak must respond within 21 days.She said publication of the article was important both because Israel had been widely criticised for killing many hundreds of civilians in its three-week assault on Gaza, and because subsequent reports suggested that Israeli commanders sought legal advice months before the operation to manipulate the accepted definitions of international law to make it easier to target civilians.

“There must be at least a strong suspicion that Mr Blau’s article contains vital information, based on military documentation, warning of Israeli army intentions to commit war crimes,” she said in an interview.

“If so, then there is a public duty on Haaretz to publish the article. If not, then there is no reason for the minister to prevent publication after all this time.”

Ms Zoubi’s call yesterday followed mounting public criticism of Haaretz for supporting Mr Blau by advising him to stay in hiding and continuing to pay his salary. In chat forums and talkback columns, the reporter has been widely denounced as a traitor. Several MPs have called for Haaretz to be closed down or boycotted.

A Haaretz spokeswoman refused to comment, but a journalist there said a “fortress mentality” had developed at the newspaper. “We’ve all been told not to talk to anyone about the case,” he said. “There’s absolute paranoia that the paper is going to be made to suffer because of the Blau case.”

Amal Jamal, a professor at Tel Aviv University who teaches a media course to professional journalists, said he was concerned with the timing of the Shin Bet’s campaign against Mr Blau. He observed that they began interviewing the reporter about his sources and documents last summer as publication neared of the Goldstone report, commissioned by the United Nations and which embarrassed Israel by alleging it had perpetrated war crimes in Gaza.

“The goal in this case appears to be not only to intimidate journalists but also to delegitimise certain kinds of investigations concerning security issues, given the new climate of sensitivity in Israel following the Goldstone report.”

He added that Mr Blau, who had quickly acquired a reputation as Israel’s best investigative reporter, was “probably finished” as a journalist in Israel.

Related posts:

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  3. Read no evil (the NYT on the Goldstone report)

Interesting piece in the Forward this week: “Jerusalem Quartet Draws Discordant Note in Britain.” It is your by-now-standard harassing of an Israeli cultural presentation in London by BDS types, but with some great twists.

1) The lunch time presentation was being broadcast live by the BBC nationwide when the organized heckling broke out, forcing the Beeb to pull the plug, mid-broadcast; a real victory for the hecklers in terms of drawing attention to their issue, which, after all, is what it’s all about (as it was for Rabbi Kahane’s disruptions of Soviet cultural presentations in the U.S. back in the 1970’s re the Soviet Jewry issue).

2) Irony angle: that the group’s name and its members’ past national service as musicians in the IDF notwithstanding, only one of the four lives in Israel today. And two are members and section leaders of the West-Eastern Divan — the Seville-based Middle East Jewish-Muslim youth orchestra co-founded by Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim, the Argentine-Jewish pianist and conductor.

This is the same West-Eastern Divan whose petition to be allowed to give a concert in Gaza was just rejected by the Government of Israel, which was apparently more fearful of the publicity the concert would bring to the Gaza blockade than of the publicity generated by its refusal.

3) The protesters’ defense of the validity of their action, notwithstanding the musicians’ extra-curricular commitment to the Divan. This generated an interesting back-and-forth on the distinction between the external and the personal in politics.

I’d note that the quartet hurt their argument by issuing a formal statement denying they had any connection to or patronage from the Gov’t of Israel—an assertion easily shown as false by the acknowledgement of such support in their own publicity.

The group’s 2009 Australian tour was supported, in part, by an $8,000 Israeli Foreign Ministry grant, according to The Age, an Australian daily.

At the same time, protester spokesman Tony Greenstein dismissed the Divan’s political import as a Jewish-Muslim initiative with a false charge that this orchestra excluded West Bank Palestinians. (Fisking’s part of the job.)

Related posts:

  1. Max Blumenthal: Feeling the hate in Tel Aviv (Huffington Post pulls the plug, again)
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