Archive | January 12th, 2012

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,

The 8 items below open with a brief note: the Palestinians now have an ambassador in Italy.  Not quite sure how this will work out since there is as yet no Palestinian state, but it is a first for which I wish the Palestinians luck.  Hopefully it will be something more than merely cosmetic. I still hope for a single secular democratic state, but till that happens, may the ambassadors multiply.

There are two items below relating to demography: 2 and 5.   Item 2 reports that a PhD student is being deported because it is feared that he will decide to settle here after he completes his studies,  So?  What’s the problem?  You guessed it: he’s not Jewish.  That’s the way it goes when demography is the main criterion on which all else is grounded.  No thought of how much his studies might contribute to knowledge in his field, no thought of the cruelty of denying a student the right to complete his studies.  Nope!  Nothing but demography counts!  One non Jew more is one non-Jew too many!

Item 3 smells of racism.  The background to it is openly racist.  Residents of an apartment building in one Israeli community have agreed not to rent or sell to Ethiopians.  The news was broadcast the day before yesterday on the radio and TV news, and obviously angered the Ethiopian community, which resulted in a large protest in that community against the racism.  The subject came up for discussion in a Knesset committee meeting, and a Minister, herself a former immigrant (from Russia) responded to the accusation of discrimination that ‘Ethiopians should be thankful for what they received.’

Item 4 reveals that cooperation between the IOF and settlers is nothing new.

Item 5, the 2nd item that relates to a demographic criterion, is an editorial opposing Israel’s new anti-infiltration law, which allows Israel to incarcerate infiltrators for 3 years without trial. Israel today will do anything to keep non-Jews away from its door.

Item 6 reports that Israel is again subsidizing West Bank construction, obviously for the purpose of inveigling Israeli Jews to live there rather than in Israel where housing is not subsidized and therefore much more expensive.

Item 7, another PCHR narrative—The Hamouda family—is the kind of story that makes me think that Ron Paul is on the right track with his foreign policy.  Enough wars.  It would not surprise me that notwithstanding Paul’s domestic policy Americans who would normally vote Democrat might be sufficiently tired of wars to vote Ron Paul.

Item 8 is the link to the Occupation Magazine, just in case you are not familiar with it.  Its contents (10 items) change daily, but are always worth reading.  Some particularly interesting or important items are kept for a longer period, but under ‘recommended reading’ rather than interfering with the 10 new items.  Well worth checking out.

That’s it for tonight.  All the best,



1 Palestine News & Information Agency – WAFA

Italy Accepts Credentials of 1st Palestinian Ambassador Date : 11/1/2012   Time : 11:38


ROME, January 11, 2012 (WAFA) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano accepted the credentials of the first Palestinian ambassador to Italy, Tuesday said sources at the Palestinian delegation in Rome.

Italy upgraded the Palestinian representative office to delegation last May and granted head of the delegation, Sabri Attiyah, ambassador status.

The Palestinian community in Italy praised the positive development, and thanked Napolitano and the Italian people.



2 Haaretz

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Israel to deport Japanese researcher over fear he will ‘settle down’ after studies

Israel’s Immigration Authority decided not to extend Koji Yamashiro’s visa, needed to complete his doctorate at the Hebrew University.

By Talila Nesher

Tags: Israel education Jewish education

More than 300 lecturers and doctoral students sent on Tuesday letters to Israel’s President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to protest the Immigration Authority’s decision not to extend a foreign student’s visa. In its decision, the Immigration Authority said it feared the student – who asked to extend his visa so he can finish his doctorate, might “strike down roots” in Israel.

Koji Yamashiro finished his B.A. and M.A. in the Department of Jewish Thought in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, and won a presidential scholarship for his doctoral studies. Yamashiro’s research focuses on monotheistic religions.

The Immigration Authority said it is concerned that Yamashiro, who has been in Israel for eight years, will not want to leave the country once he is completes his studies. A German doctoral student has in the past been forced to stop his studies at the Department of Jewish Thought after his visa was not extended.

The Hebrew University also sent a letter requesting Yamashiro’s visa be extended, saying that his research enriches the field and even stated that Yamashiro “agreed to sign a document committing to not staying in Israel.”

Yamashiro told Haaretz in fluent Hebrew that even though he is not Jewish, he became interested in Kabbalah. “I read Gershom Scholem’s books and was drawn to this world,” he said.

In his research, Yamashiro looks into the myth of the Primordial Man in Abrahamic religions. “There is no access to material in my field like the there is in Israel,” he said, adding that he has written the Interior Ministry twice to inform them that he intends to leave Israel once he completes his studies.

In their letter, the academics write that “we see the Interior Ministry’s decision as damaging to our academic activity and to the academic community in Israel in general, at a time when there are more and more voices around the world calling for an academic boycott on Israeli researchers.”

The Immigration Authority told Haaretz that “the issue will be reexamined by Immigration Authority head Amnon Ben Ami.”


3. Ynet

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Anti-discrimination protest in Kiryat Malachi Poto: Reuters

Minister: Ethiopians should ‘say thank you’ for what they got

Ethiopian social activist draws Immigrant Absorption minister’s ire after telling Knesset Committee they are ‘hypocrites’ who are ‘creating a 21st Century version of Apartheid in Israel’,7340,L-4174325,00.html

Omri Efraim


In a case of new immigrants versus the more established immigrants, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver caused an already heated Knesset Committee meeting to get out of control.

Speaking at a Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee meeting on discrimination against the Ethiopian community in Kiryat Malachi, Landver told an Ethiopian social activist: “Say thank you for what you got.”

Her statements came in response to those made by the social activist, Gadi Yiberkan, who called the MKs hypocrites and said: “You have created a 21st Century version of Apartheid in Israel.”

Landver then replied: “While you hand out marks you need to understand that the State of Israel invests a lot in this matter,” and stressed “Say thank you for what you got.” MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) then joined the argument, screaming at Yiberkan: “When they were speaking against haredim no one said a word, I wish I was Ethiopian.”

The Ethiopian community is angered by what they believe is the racist behavior of Kiryat Malachi’s established residents who are unwilling to rent out or sell them apartments. Some of the residents have even signed contracts under which they have made a commitment not to sell or rent out apartments to members of the Ethiopian community.

Members of the Ethiopian community and their supporters numbering in the thousands demonstrated against the discrimination in Kiryat Malachi on Tuesday night.

Speaking at the Knesset meeting, Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) said: The Kiryat Malachi case is a warning bell but it isn’t the only case. We want to come out of the committee meeting not just with platitudes and empathy but with decisions on the legislative level.”

Danon announced his intention to promote a legislation package that would aggravate punishment and declare racial discrimination as a criminal offense with a NIS 100,000 ($26,000) fine and up to six months imprisonment.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau announced that Netanyahu has directed his advisor on Ethiopian affairs Allali Admaso to act to strike out against the phenomenon of racism against Ethiopian immigrants.

Admaso met on Tuesday night with the organizers of the demonstration. According to the bureau, the prime minister stressed that “racist phenomenon are inciting and have no place in Israeli society.”

Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report


4   Haaretz

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


IDF transfer of information to settlers is nothing new

If the IDF doesn’t leak the ‘secret’ of which heap of boards in the shape of a hut it plans to sic its bulldozers on, some MK or minister surely will. That’s how it has always been, and that’s how it will be in the future as well.

By Zvi Bar’el

Tags: West Bank IDF Israel settlements


Who has better information: the Israel Defense Forces, which didn’t know that a group of right-wing activists planned to cross the border into Jordan last month, or the band of thugs living on West Bank hilltops, who know when the IDF plans to destroy every last hut? The IDF and the Shin Bet security service, which have been unable to determine who is behind the torching of mosques, or those same Jewish terrorists, who get information directly from officers, soldiers and Knesset members about plans for IDF operations against illegal settlement outposts?

Even as senior politicians are declaring that a cyber attack is like a declaration of war or a terror attack, it turns out that an intelligence war is taking place under their very noses, using simple, traditional, unglamorous tools like cell phones, Excel spreadsheets and chatting with “sources.”

But this actually isn’t an intelligence war. Transfers of information from the IDF to the settlers are nothing new; they have accompanied the settlement enterprise from the outset. Nor should this be surprising in a reality where the IDF is viewed as an enemy, while the hilltop thugs are viewed merely as mischievous kids.

As long as the IDF boasts of how many religious Jews it has among its combat ranks, it shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that religious Jews have an agenda. They either have friends in the settlements or are themselves are residents of settlements who won’t lend a hand to house demolitions there, even if the houses were built illegally. For some, service in the IDF is conditional on not receiving orders that contradict the divine decrees transmitted by their rabbis. They don’t view passing on information about plans to destroy their homes as a crime, but as a religious obligation.

Would the IDF be willing on this account to forgo the service of an entire community that it views as “the salt of the earth”? Would it be willing to exclude them from army service the way it does many Israeli Arabs?

After all, the exemption Israeli Arabs receive from IDF service rests in part on the desire not to put them into a situation in which they would have to fight their brothers across the border. Settlers similarly understand that IDF soldiers won’t fight their brothers from the territories.

Moreover, anyone who views passing information to settlers as serious espionage, even treason, must in the same breath define that band of thugs as an enemy of the state. But as long as the prime minister refrains even from calling the torchers of mosques and uprooters of olive trees “terrorists,” much less enemies of the state, the suspicions of “espionage” leveled against MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) are pathetic.

Elkin is no more of a criminal than those who have hitherto allowed these illegal buildings to go up – the same buildings about which he reported on plans to demolish, or not demolish. Indeed, he has more integrity than those who, for months and years, have been making a mockery of the High Court of Justice, which ordered these buildings destroyed, or than those who knew in advance that these buildings were slated to be built on privately-owned Palestinian land, or than those who portray the leaking of this “secret” information to the settlers as a blow to the IDF’s most deeply-held secrets.

The one that should really be worried is the Yesha Council of settlements, which always knew how to gather reliable information on the IDF’s plans quickly and effectively. Suddenly, under its nose, a parallel intelligence organization has sprung up, comprised of thugs who undermine the council’s sovereignty. Until now, the council itself had been the official underminer of IDF sovereignty in the West Bank.

Elkin did not reveal state secrets. His main crime is that because of him, that game of winks and nods that has been conducted for years between the IDF and its governmental masters from both right and left on one hand, and the settlers on the other, has been revealed in all its nakedness. All he did was tear the remnants of the veil off the face of the reality that everyone already knew quite well: a reality in which the IDF, the sovereign power in the territories, was ordered to shoot itself in the foot.

The IDF has the unfortunate duty to both assume responsibility for the security of those hilltop thugs, allow them to build their illegal shacks, and also, when necessary, destroy those very same shacks – with a wink and a nod, of course. It must be stealthy and effective when it is allowed to use its sovereign power, but it knows this power is a sieve.

If the IDF doesn’t leak the “secret” of which heap of boards in the shape of a hut it plans to sic its bulldozers on, some MK or  surely will. That’s how it has always been, and that’s how it will be in the future as well.


5  Haaretz Editorial

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Israel’s anti-infiltration law is a disgrace

Any detention without trial is an extreme act that should be foreign to a law-abiding state, much more so when the victims are work migrants who harbor no ill intentions against the state.

Haaretz Editorial

Tags: Knesset

Of all the antidemocratic laws that have descended on us of late, it is perhaps the most shameful. After a long, late-night session on Monday the Knesset plenum approved the second and third reading of an amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law. Only eight Knesset members voted against the amendment, while 37 supported it.

From now on, work seekers from Africa who enter Israel illegally can be imprisoned for three years, without the benefit of a trial and without any distinction between asylum seekers and labor migrants. Anyone who aids migrants who smuggle drugs or weapons, including by providing shelter, could also face a lengthy sentence. Even the courageous objections of Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon were to no avail, and the law was passed.

Words fail in the face of such a disgraceful act of legislation. Sending desperate human beings, who come to Israel to find gainful employment, to jail for an extended period is completely antidemocratic and inhuman. Any detention without trial is an extreme act that should be foreign to a law-abiding state, much more so when the victims are work migrants who harbor no ill intentions against the state. The fact that the original law from 1954 was aimed at the fedayeen and Palestinian refugees seeking to return to their homes, if only to salvage some of their belongings, after the 1948 War, only underscores its problematic nature. If during the state’s early years it was somehow possible to accept such a draconian law, in 2012, when those who cross the border illegally do not pose a genuine security threat, sending them to prison for such a long period is intolerable.

The problem of the labor migrants must be solved in other ways, certainly not through long incarceration without trial. Israel has the right to close its borders and set its own immigration policy, like the world’s most developed nations. But it does not have the right to imprison people – some of whom have been recognized as refugees, to whom no door should be closed and certainly not that of Israel. On Monday a jingoistic and unnecessary law that is unlikely to solve the problem for which it was intended was added to Israel’s legal code.


6.  Haaretz

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Israel subsidizes West Bank housing, breaking promise to U.S.

Revelation comes as PM Netanyahu announces plan to build 277 housing units in Efrat settlement as part of series of reprisals for the PA’s admission to UNESCO in October.

By Chaim Levinson

Tags: Palestinians Palestinian Authority Benjamin Netanyahu Mahmoud Abbas Gaza

Despite the government’s promise to Washington to stop giving financial incentives for construction in West Bank settlements, the Housing Ministry recently published a tender for 213 new housing units in Efrat under a program that offers substantial discounts on the land.

In 2004, then-U.S. President George W. Bush gave then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter offering various assurances regarding a final-status solution with the Palestinians. Over the preceding year, Sharon envoy Dov Weissglas met numerous times with Bush’s envoys, Stephen Hadley and Elliott Abrams, to negotiate the document. The letter was given primarily as recompense for Israel’s planned disengagement from Gaza. But in addition, Israel promised four other things: not to expropriate Palestinian land for the benefit of the settlements, not to establish new settlements, to confine new settlement construction to within the settlements’ existing boundaries, and not to give financial incentives that would encourage people to move to the territories. In line with this promise, the government canceled all the grants and other benefits that residents of the territories had enjoyed for years. But the new tender includes a financial incentive that could encourage people to move to Efrat.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build 277 new housing units in Efrat as part of a series of reprisals for the Palestinian Authority’s admission to UNESCO in October. The tender was published at the end of last month and is due to close at the end of February.

But it turns out that of these 277 units, 213 are being offered under the “Mechir Lamishtaken” program, under which the government sells the land to contractors for less than its full market value. In normal tenders, the land goes to the contractor who offers the highest price for it. This is the system being used for the remaining 64 units in Efrat. Under Mechir Lamishtaken, however, the Housing Ministry sets a fixed price for the land that is well below market value – often as much as 50 percent lower. The tender is then won by the contractor who pledges to sell the houses for the lowest price. Consequently, Mechir Lamishtaken tenders usually result in consumers paying less than the market rate for new housing. And while houses of up to 100 square meters are reserved for people eligible for public housing, anything larger than that can be sold on the open market, as long as the price doesn’t exceed the contractor’s bid price.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded that “Mechir Lamishtaken tenders are published in many cities throughout the country. Therefore, issuing a tender of this type in Efrat doesn’t entail granting any kind of special benefit to this city.”

The Efrat Local Council said that “Mechir Lamishtaken isn’t a government subsidy. The government isn’t giving a present, but selling the land to contractors for the equivalent of the land’s real value. What the government does via the Mechir Lamishtaken system is give the contractors specifications for the construction and base the tender on the contractors’ construction costs, so that the contractor with the lowest price [to the consumer] wins the tender.”

Nevertheless, in an announcement to Efrat residents, the council said the new tender was expected to result in “significantly lower apartment prices than are the norm in the town today.”



Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


11 January 2009: The Hamouda Family

“I cannot even pick up another child in my arms, I had a new grandchild, he is six months old, but I have yet to take him in my arms, I feel that place belongs to Fares”

Talat and Intissar Hamouda

In the early morning of 11 January 2009, the home of Intissar Hamouda, 41, in Tal Al-Hawa. Gaza City, came under attack from Israeli forces. Israeli tank fire resulted in the death of her son, Fares Hamouda, who was two years old at the time of the attack, and her step son Muhammed who she cared for with her husband Talat, 54, Muhammed’s father. Fares died immediately in Intissar’s arms, while Muhammed bled to death as medical crews were unable to reach them.

“Muhammed and Fares had a lot in common. After I had Fares I could not breastfeed so we had to give him manufactured milk. Muhammed lost his mother at ten months and so was also fed manufactured baby milk. As a result, both had similar illnesses with similar symptoms,” says Intissar. Throughout their brief time together the brothers remained close. “Fares would refuse to go to sleep until Muhammed came home from school. On the day of the attack Fares was sick, but he refused to take medicine from me, he wanted it from Muhammed,” says Intissar.

Following the attack Intissar was severely debilitated. “I could not walk on my legs even six months after the incident due to injuries in my legs and pelvis; I needed help from my step daughters and sisters to move around the house.” Intissar has since undergone three surgeries to remove shrapnel from her abdomen as well as reconstructive plastic surgery.

Fares was not only close to his half brother Muhammed, but also to Intissar’s step daughter Kariman and step grandchild Rania, who were 13 and 2 respectively at the time of the incident. Both have been traumatised as a result. “Kariman became extremely aggressive in school and at the advice of teachers Talat decided to withdraw her from it,” says Imtissar. “Three months following the incident I came back to the house with Rania to get her toys and other things, but she begged me not to enter the house and wouldn’t take anything from it.” Similarly, Intissar said that “ten days ago we were in the Old City shopping and Rania saw a funeral of someone killed in a recent Israeli attack, it reminded Rania of Fares and Muhammed and she started to cry, when I explained they had gone to heaven, she replied, “just like Muhammed and Fares”.”

Intissar and Talat have both been emotionally affected by the loss of their sons. “I cannot even pick up another child in my arms, I had a new grandchild, he is six months old, but I have yet to take him in my arms, I feel that place belongs to Fares,” says Talat. The anniversary is particularly hard on Intissar, who still suffers chronic pain from nerve damage as a result of the attack. “As the day approaches they show interviews taken of me after the incident or start to talk about the attack,” says Intissar, “I can’t even watch stories of other women with similar experiences, so I don’t turn on the television.”

As regards the future the couple feel they have nothing left to be taken from them. “We lost the nearest things to us, we have nothing else left to lose,” says Intissar. “I am no longer even afraid of the bombings.” However Intissar clings to some hope that she can have another child following the death of Fares, who she tried to conceive for 21 years. “I have tried through artificial insemination already, but it didn’t work. I’m hoping to try again.” Similarly Talat has hopes that there will be political reconciliation among the Palestinian political factions. Regarding the prospects of their complaint in Israeli courts, Intissar is unimpressed; “the Israeli’s committed war crimes against us, they destroy the houses over the heads of civilians, I expect no justice from them.”

PCHR submitted a criminal complaint to the Israeli authorities on behalf of the Hamouda Family on 21 July 2009. To-date, no response has been received.


8 The Occupation Magazine


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Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


Am letting you off easy tonight—not because there is nothing to write about, but because I had no time to sift through the newspapers.  Some days are like that.  This does not mean that I have furnished nothing to read—‘Today in Palestine’ is an excellent source for details about what is happening in the OPT—West Bank and Gaza.

And in addition to TIP is a real plum—an op-ed whose position I could not agree with more!  I feel much about the government as B. Michael feels about the Supreme Court.  The present Israeli government probably does more harm to Israel’s standing in the world than any of us who support bds, who go out and talk to audiences, who try to bring about change could ever do.  Let it work its evil for all to see. That perhaps will bring about the change we all hope for.  Do read B. Michael’s piece, please.  And enjoy.  Well, appreciate.





1 Haaretz

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How I helped a rightist judge be elected to Supreme Court

Justice Noam Sohlberg will be a kind of minor defect in the mask, which will peel off a bit of the respectable, enlightened and democratic facade of the Supreme Court – even as it sits pale, cowering and nearly toothless.

By B. Michael

It was July 2003. A colleague phoned and with amused anger informed me that the now-defunct religious Zionist newspaper Hatzofeh had written that I was “one of the greatest anti-Semites in the world.”

One of the greatest anti-Semites? Moi? I’m not worthy. I’m not even among the top 10.

I found the article. To judge by several pieces written by the same person, the writer betrayed a tendency to go off the track even more often than Israel Railways. And still, I consulted learned friends, and they all decided: libel. You have to sue.

What do you think of Solhberg’s appointment as Supreme Court judge? Visit on Facebook and share your views.

The lawsuit was filed, and Noam Sohlberg was named as the presiding judge. One of the learned friends hastened to advise me: “Demand that he recuse himself. The woman attacked you because of things you wrote about the settlers. Sohlberg is a settler. He will rip you to shreds.”

I straightened my back proudly, like a Polish officer on his horse, and declared: “I won’t disqualify a person because of his place of residence.”

So he ripped me to shreds.

The ruling ranged from strange to absurd. It was an attempt to alter the facts to suit the outcome. I read, laughed and appealed. Sohlberg’s ruling was overturned very quickly, Hatzofeh was required to apologize, and I once again learned the truth of the proverb that where you stand depends on where you sit (or settle ).

I have no illusions that such a minor ruling carried great weight with Sohlberg’s fans. I assume that his ruling acquitting Border Policeman Shmuel Yehezkel of manslaughter after he shot an innocent man named Samir Dari in the back in 2005. The judge accepted Yehezkel’s claim that he felt threatened. “The accused made a terrible mistake,” the judge wrote. “He killed the deceased for no reason.” But Sohlberg acquitted him nonetheless.

A great deal has been written about that ruling. But instead of rehashing it to reinforce my joy at Sohlberg’s appointment to the Supreme Court, I would like to give the floor over to German playwright Bertolt Brecht. As the Weimar Republic was coming to an end, he wrote a play called “The Exception and the Rule,” about a wealthy merchant from the ruling class who murders a poverty-stricken porter. The merchant is brought before a judge and claims, of course, that he felt threatened.

The judge turns to the accused and says: “You want to say that you assumed, and rightly so, that the coolie must have something against you. In this case you really did kill an innocent man, but only because you had no way of knowing that he was innocent.” Then the judge acquits the accused.

It’s as though Brecht, a prophet in his rotting homeland, foresaw Sohlberg’s ruling and summed up its logic in a sharp, penetrating and accurate satirical play.

The ruling in my libel suit is, naturally, far poorer in satirical material, but I insist on believing that it too made its modest contribution to Sohlberg’s election. And I’m proud of that, because in my opinion, the Supreme Court has long been ready, and has even been crying out, for a figure of that kind on its benches. He will be a kind of minor defect in the mask, which will peel off a bit of the respectable, enlightened and democratic facade of the Supreme Court – even as it sits pale, cowering and nearly toothless.

And the State of Israel no longer deserves a Supreme Court without Sohlberg. It deserves a court in its own image. Someone “representative,” as the MK Zeev Elkin types are loudly demanding. We should do as they wish. Because from now on, the court really is far more representative of the State of Israel. It suits the state far better.

And Sohlberg – along with his rulings and the land on which he lives (which on June 5, 1969, was seized for “military purposes” ) – will also make it somewhat more difficult for the High Court of Justice to continue to boast of statesmanlike behavior and to hide behind judicial robes, as it seeks to free itself of the threat of intervention from a foreign court.

And all of that is good and right and worthy, because evil – just like justice – must be seen, not just done.


2  Today in Palestine

January 10, 2012

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


Just 4 items tonight—none very long, but then these are in addition to the 2 items that I sent earlier: a petition and a depiction of Palestinian farming in the South Hebron Hills—would that they could farm.  The international newspapers had articles on Yair Lapid leaving the TV world for the political one, and one or two papers remarked on an incident in which an MK dumped a glass of water on another MK at a parliamentary discussion.  But other than these, I found nothing on Israel or on Palestine.  The first two items are from Israeli media, the third from the NY Times.  It is not about Israel or Palestine but is rather about Islamophobia.  The final item is a 5 minute video by Ron Paul.  I agree with Mark’s introduction to it.  I could be tempted to vote for Ron Paul because of his foreign policy.  Unfortunately, apart from the foreign policy there is little if anything else that he stands for that I can agree with.


Item 1 is a response to the Dennis Ross op-ed that I mentioned on Saturday, and which I found simplistic (the link to it is below, in case you want to read it).  My objection to Ross is that rather than solving anything his recommendations guide Israel in how to make the occupation more palatable.  Barak Ravid brings a different criticism of Ross’s piece: Ross seems to believe that Bibi wants to end the occupation.  Well argued and worth reading.


Item 2 is about illegal building in East Jerusalem.  The complaints are not against Jewish building but against Palestinian building.  But of course all of you know by now that Palestinians never or almost never receive permits to build.  And since their families grow, since they, like Jews, have children, then obviously they need to add to existing structures or build new ones as the population expands. But this is an anathema to Zionist Jews, as is clear from the complaint.


Item 3 is not about Israel or Palestine.  It is about an incident and its cause, namely how Europe treats Muslims. They, in Sarah Wildman’s phrase, are ‘the new scapegoats of Europe.’


Item 4 is the video that I think you, too, will find worth watching.


All the best,





1 Haaretz

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dennis Ross discovers Palestine

In a Washington Post op-ed, Ross suggests ways of advancing Mideast peace; his ideas may sound ground-breaking, but anyone who has a clue knows they are nothing new – he has suggested them before to no avail.

[for the Dennis Ross piece ]


By Barak Ravid

 Over the past two and a half years Dennis Ross, Middle East adviser to the U.S. president, has been one of the most central people in the White House in everything that has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He has whispered in the ear of U.S. President Barack Obama, maintained a secret and direct channel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his envoy Isaac Molho, and undermined U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell.

Despite his central role, his influence on Jerusalem’s actions was minimal. Despite the fact that he is considered to be Netanyahu’s man in the White House, he did not manage to get almost anything from the Israeli prime minister. In Ramallah, his status is even worse. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pushed him aside and effectively declared him a persona non grata. As far as Washington was concerned, he had a far greater impact: mainly a negative one.

Ross has been involved in the peace process for 20 years. He knows all the tricks of all the players and vice versa: they know all his formulas and political maneuvers. It was precisely for this reason that I was surprised to read the article Ross published in the Washington Post on Saturday.

Under the title, “How to break a Middle East Stalemate”, Ross writes that, “psychological gaps” between the sides will prevent the achievement of a permanent arrangement in the short term. Therefore, Ross suggests a different path: for Israel to carry out a series of steps in the West Bank to strengthen the Palestinian leaders, Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Ross presents various measures: stopping IDF forces from entering Palestinian cities, expanding the responsibilities of the Palestinian police in Area B of the West Bank, where they currently lack security authority, providing the PA with the opportunity to initiate economic projects in Area C, which is entirely under Israeli control, releasing prisoners and so on.

Steps like these, Ross maintains, will lessen the lack of trust between the sides, balance the Shalit prisoner swap deal which was a great success for Hamas, and assist Abbas and Fayyad in their quest to gain support among the Palestinian public, especially in light of the possibility of presidential elections in the coming months, in which one of them – or both – will run. All of these, as far as Ross is concerned, are in Israel’s interest.

For the average reader, who knows nothing about the details of the contacts between the U.S. government and Netanyahu over the past two years, Ross’s suggestions sound new and refreshing. If only someone had thought of that two years ago. So here’s the catch: they did. More than one person had these ideas. More than once.

Not only did they think of these things, but they also suggested them to Netanyahu and to Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Not only did they suggest it, they requested, pushed and begged. In fact, Ross himself was one of the people who did so. He was joined by Mitchell, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Quartet envoy Tony Blair, the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany, and many others. Ross omits this fact from his article.

So why has this still not happened? Ross also keeps this information from the Washington Post readers. He doesn’t tell them that the Israeli prime minister promised him personally (along with other international officials), on numerous occasions starting in late 2009, that he would take exactly these sorts of steps to advance the peace process with the Palestinians. Ross also didn’t mention that Barak, who holds the authority to carry out such actions, told him and additional senior U.S. officials that he believes this is the right road to travel.

But for Netanyahu and Barak there lies great distance between words and deeds. Even a technical step such as paving a road to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi has not been carried out until today, despite repeated promises. The reality is that Ross requested it, but until today his request has not been accepted. He insisted, but was rejected. He pushed, but was dissolved. That is the truth.

Reading the article gives the impression that Ross discovered the Americas. Or, more accurately, discovered Palestine. As though he was an alien that landed from Mars and offered magical formulas that human beings had not yet thought of. Netanyahu does not want to stop the occupation? It couldn’t be. The Israeli government persists in its settlement policy? Nonsense. Abbas is unwilling to negotiate with Netanyahu even for a million dollars? Garbage. Just listen to Dennis Ross – there will be peace here in no time.


2 Jerusalem Post

Monday, January 9, 2011

Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem


MKs slam J’lem for illegal building in e. J’lem



Illegal building grows at approx 1,000 per year, worse in areas across the fence.

The Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee slammed the Jerusalem municipality for “losing control” of illegal building in east Jerusalem, especially in areas that are part of Jerusalem but are located on the West Bank side of the separation fence, in a special committee hearing on Monday.

According to Regavim, a right-wing activist group which filed a petition in the High Court of Justice regarding lack of enforcement of demolition orders, said that Jerusalem building inspectors haven’t been into Jerusalem areas on the other side of the barrier since 2005. Without inspections, the municipality cannot issue demolition orders.

“It’s like saying the Jerusalem municipality and Jerusalem police have no ability to enforce laws [in these areas],” said MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovich (Kadima). “Has Jerusalem already been divided? Because if it has, I want to know.”

In 2010, a State Comptroller’s report estimated that there are 20,000 to 30,000 illegal buildings in east Jerusalem, growing at a rate of roughly 1,000 per year.

Committee member MK Ibrahaim Sarsour (United Arab List-Ta’al) appealed to the city to increase building permits for Arab residents rather than destroy more homes. “The [Arab residents] want real equality in Jerusalem, and that needs to start with the minimal things, the right to a roof, to a house, to a place, to live for the thousands of people that don’t have it,” he said.

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) also expressed grave concern over the proliferation of six and seven story apartment buildings built right next to the security barrier on the West Bank side, which he said were destroying the effectiveness of the barrier because they are ten or more meters taller than the barrier.

The director of activities for Regavim, Betzalel Smotrich, said the “racist legal system” was enforcing the laws selectively against Jewish right-wing activists in the West Bank while allowing illegal building to run unchecked in Arab neighborhoods. “It’s a shame that in our capital we don’t have sovereignty,” he said after the meeting.

“It’s not possible to flee from reality, and the reality is that providing services on the other side of the fence is really difficult,” said Ophir May, the municipality’s building supervision branch.  “We need security accompaniment to go into these areas, these are the guidelines of police, but these also come from our experience and my personal experience,” he told the committee.

According to May, in 2011 the municipality carried out eight demolitions of illegal structures in east Jerusalem, compared with 67 in west Jerusalem. In 2010, there were 23 demolitions of illegal structures in east Jerusalem, compared with 58 in west Jerusalem.

“We need to understand if there’s a lack of ability or lack of desire [to enforce these laws],” said Maklev. Regavim has an additional petition before the Jerusalem District Court regarding enforcing demolition orders against illegal building in east Jerusalem, which is expected to be heard in the coming months.

City Councilor Yael Entebbi, who represents Pisgat Zev and Neve Yaakov, urged the MKs to pressure the city into taking immediate action. “I can see illegal building from my window at home,” she told the Post after the committee meeting. “The reality on the ground shows that there is no building freeze, not in east Jerusalem and especially not over the fence. It is really important that the MKs deal with this to enforce the laws, because we really need to solve this problem. We are talking about a danger that is right under our noses.”


3  NY Times

January 9,2011

The New Scapegoats of Europe


One afternoon in November, Océane Sluijzer, a 13-year-old Belgian Jewish girl, was beaten up after soccer practice by a group of schoolmates. Her tormenters, girls of Moroccan descent, called her a “dirty Jew” and told her to “go back to her own country.”

Two weeks later, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium mentioned the beating in a speech about the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. Howard Gutman, himself a Jew, saw Océane’s plight as symptomatic of a larger problem: Jews and Muslims in Europe are caught in a proxy war that mirrors events in the Middle East, especially between Israel and the Palestinians.

“[E]very new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry,” Gutman said.

He’s right: Politics in the Middle East refract into tensions between Jews and Muslims in Europe. Violence against Jews on the Continent tends to increase when violence rises between Israelis and Palestinians, for example. The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights counted 815 acts of anti-Semitic violence in France in 2009, compared with 459 the year before, and found that the uptick was a response to Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s bloody incursion into Gaza in early 2009.

But while incidents in the Middle East are relevant, the root cause of the problem between Jews and Muslims in Europe isn’t simply the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is primarily the failure of European states to integrate immigrants, Muslims in particular.

Governments throughout Europe have struggled for the last half-century to expand their notion of citizenship. Muslims who came from North Africa and Turkey as workers in the 1960s and early 1970s were expected to go home eventually. But they stayed and built families in Europe. Today, their children and grandchildren are still defined as second- and third-generation immigrants rather than as Belgian, French or German.

This is partly because many Europeans cannot quite imagine how Islam and a secular European identity might co-exist. It is also because the once-marginal anti-Muslim ideas of the far right have become more mainstream; Muslims have replaced Jews as the scapegoats of Europe. If Muslims in Europe so thoroughly identify with the Palestinian cause today — posters at rallies for the right to wear the hijab often call for a free Palestine — it is partly because a weak Palestine subs in for their own maligned population.

And so while Gutman’s diagnosis of the problem rings true, his fix for it is misguided. In that speech in late November, he said that the solution to tensions between Jews and Muslims in Europe “is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East.”

In fact, the real answer lies much closer to home: according to a position-paper by the Brookings Institution, if Muslim communities in Europe felt less marginalization and had more economic opportunities, they would resort less to misdirected violence. Although attacks on Jews are scary and hard to explain away, there is no broad and systematic anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, neither among Muslims nor among the rest of the population. This is not 1936.

The key to helping Belgians understand the attack on Océane is not to sit down with Benjamin Netanyahu. It is to sit down with the girls who punched her and find out how to make them feel welcome in Belgium.

Sarah Wildman writes about the intersection of culture and politics, and history and memory in Europe and the United States.


4  forwarded by Mark, whose comment below.

Anti-war video by Ron Paul. Absolutely brilliant. Not directly about Israel/Palestine, but the parallel is obvious. A strong argument can be made that Ron Paul is the best hope for peace in Israel/Palestine:   


Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

Marines Piss on Dead Muslims


by Jonathon Blakeley

WARNING – VERY OFFENSIVE. In this disgusting video we see how low the US marines have gone. I am pretty sure this video will be banned and taken down. I have copied it downloaded it should that happen. Credit to Deek Jackson for scooping this. BTW you can be pretty sure that this just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted in AfghanistanComments Off on Marines Piss on Dead Muslims

Samouni Family & Israeli War Crimes


by Ken O’Keefe

During Operation Cast Lead Israel committed massive war crimes for all the world to see. Among these crimes the use of White Phosphorus in densely populated areas, use of Depleted Uranium, bombing civilian targets of all sorts without military necessity, destroying civilian infrastructure with no military justification and the infamous massacre of the Samouni family… among many other crimes.

In the aftermath of Cast Lead, Justice Richard Goldstone, a Zionist Jew, was commissioned by the United Nations to write a report on the alleged war crimes. Although the report did not go nearly far enough in exposing the brutality of all the crimes committed, crimes committed by the fourth largest military in the world against a essentially defenceless and captive population, it did allege that Israel (and Hamas) was almost undoubtedly guilty of war crimes and possibly, crimes against humanity.

But on April 1st, 2011 Justice Goldstone had an apparent change of heart and effectively said that he was wrong. With regard to the Samouni family he said, Israel simply made a mistake. It seems that the world in which we live in, a world of impunity for the favoured Israeli state, is set to continue. Unless of course we the people decide enough is enough. –

April 4, 2011 – Ken O’Keefe

Posted in GazaComments Off on Samouni Family & Israeli War Crimes

Support Academic Freedom & Queen’s University Rector Nick Day…


Hi All

The Harper government recently banned the veil in immigration ceremonies. Most countries in Europe have banned the head scarf in the schools and government offices. Turkey had for decades, banned both.

I wrote an essay on the 3 myths of Canadian Immigration. It took me almost a year to put this together. The Human Rights Commissions and Multiculturalism threaten the freedom of speech of Canadian citizens. The good news is that things are slowly changing.

Germany, The U.K, France and Holland have declared multiculturalism a failure. They are moving towards the American melting pot. The West has always struggled to free the individual against many group ideologies such as: Communism…Fascism…Nazism...Marxism & MULTICULTURALISM.  Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations and the remaking of world order” released around 1997 is coming true. 

Professor Salim Mansur just released “A Delectable Lie: A liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism/2011”. He says the reason it’s with a small “l” is due to the fact that the Liberal Party of Canada has moved away from the ideals that made it Canada’s main party (they won 75 of the past 105 elections). Canada should adopt: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness over the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I also included job creation and unemployment numbers so reveal the myths of worker shortages and other lies perpetuated over and over again by media(Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail) and the government of Canada’s Immigration Citizenship and Multiculturalism.

Unemployed Canadians in 2011: 1.4 million(500,000 in Ontario/ 900,000 in the rest of the country)

Unemployed Canadians in 2002: 520,000

Labor Force in 2011: 18.7 million

Labor Force in 2002: 6.5 million

Job creation numbers (BMO forecast) for 2012: 180,000/ Job Creation 2011: 240,000/ Job Creation: 2010: 372,000

# of immigrants for Canada in 2012: 240-265K(this doesn’t include family reunification and guest workers and refugees)

It took me 8 months and hundreds of hours of research to complete this. What do you think about it? the good and the bad.



Posted in CampaignsComments Off on Support Academic Freedom & Queen’s University Rector Nick Day…



By Gilad Atzmon

According to sources in Iran, a nuclear scientist was killed in Tehran today by a bomb placed on his car by a motorcyclist. It is very clear to most of us who stands behind these continuous attacks on Iran’s scientists and military personnel.

However, the discrepancy between Hebrew and English press reporting on the incident is pretty staggering and demands some deliberation.

While the Israeli  English outlet Ynet reports  on the incident in a pretty cold manner, it goes as far as reporting  on “mysterious explosion in Iranian capital”, the Hebrew Yntet is happy to suggest that Israel is probably behind all those ‘mysterious attacks’.

The Hebrew publication ends its coverage of the story stating that yesterday Chief of Staff – Major General Benny Gantz,  said that 2012 would be a “critical year for Iran”. he refered specifically to “continued pressure (on Iran) from the international community and the things that happen to them  unnaturally”. It doesn’t take a genius to gather that if General Ganz speaks about future “unnatural” events, he must be closely familiar with the details of such events!!!

While the English Ynet, operates as  a Hasbara outlet, spreading Israeli propaganda for the Goyim and English speaking Jews,  the Hebrew version, is there to boost the Israeli moral. And as it happens, Israeli love to see their ‘enemies’ being, terrorised,  slaughtered and  murdered.

The true ‘mysterious’ nature of the Jewish state  and its relation with the world is indeed a disturbing one and a reason for serious concern.

Posted in IranComments Off on HEBREW AND ENGLISH



In the ‘only Democracy in the Middle East’, Jewish Knesset Member Anastasia Michaeli was caught today on camera throwing water in the face of Palestinian  Knesset Member Ghaleb Majadele.  The violent incident took place  during a Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee meeting.

In the Jewish State, people like MK Michaeli are in charge of ‘education’ and ‘culture’. Its no wonder that Israel has become a criminal collective

– a poll taken at the time of Operation Cast Lead (January 4-6, 2009) revealed that  94% of the Jewish population  strongly supported the murderous operation; 92% thought it had security benefits for Israel; 92% justified the air force strikes on Gaza.

We are clearly dealing with a very problematic continuum.

To watch video:,7340,L-4173224,00.html







 “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass (1871)

The lexicon of Israel and its Western lobbyists constantly needs parsing to know just what is meant. Most glaringly is the term “settlers”, which suggests peaceful pioneers wishing to integrate with the locals. In Israel, the word “settlers” is a loaded term, for they are “aggressive squatters, half a million of them in over 100 illegal colonies — ugly blots on an otherwise lovely landscape … who terrorise local villagers, vandalise their crops, pollute their land and harass their children,” as described by Stuart Littlewood. The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids that an occupying power transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Most recently we saw casual reference to native Christian and Muslim Palestinians as an “invented people”. US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich revived this insult, repeating Gold Meir’s quip in 1969 to The Sunday Times. At the time, Israel was basking in its devastating victory in the 1967 war, occupying all of Palestine and Sinai. The eternal Sinai Bedouin are fortunate that Meir didn’t have enough time — or gall — to claim that they too are a mere figment of some anti-Jewish schemer’s imagination. Their cousins in the Negev desert are now being expelled to make way for 10 Jewish settlements “to attract a new population to the Negev”.

Meir was extrapolating on her more famous phrase, also recorded in the same Sunday Times interview, that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land”. Not only is this a cruel lie, one intended to justify theft of a people’s land, but it is a case of plagiarism, as it was Lord Shaftsbury, an early enthusiast of using a Jewish state in the Middle East as an imperial beachhead, who first used the phrase in 1839.

Meir surely knew this, just as she knew that it is not the Palestinians, a people who can trace their heritage back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed or further, but the Israeli people who are the “invented” ones. Israeli citizenship is barely 60 years old, and Israelis are a disparate lot, made up most of East European and Russian immigrants and Arab Jews, most of whom do not share a common language or even religious practice. The Russian immigrants, many of whom are not even Jewish, are defiantly secular.

Even worse than invented people are “unpeople”, a term George Orwell coined in 1984 (1948) to refer to the complete elimination of people by vaporising them, leaving no trace. Israel’s growing arsenal of nuclear and white phosphorus bombs actually bring this reality uncomfortably close for Palestinians and other Arab neighbours of Israel.

Noam Chomsky points out that in October, Western media applauded the release of IDF prisoner Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in 2006 — during an illegal Israel attack on Gaza — in exchange for a thousand Palestinians, kidnapped for, well, simply being unpeople in the wrong place at the wrong time. One almost thinks the Israelis like to randomly jail thousands of these unpeople as collateral to retrieve the few “real people” caught in criminal acts, and then pride themselves that one Jew is more precious than a 1000 Arabs.

What about the claim of the representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations in May 1947, who said “‘Palestine’ was part of the province of Syria” and that, “politically, the Arabs of Israel were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity.” Yes, the very notion of a nation state is a 19th century concept, and arose only as a result of imperialism spreading around the world, with the result that there are two kinds of nationalism — the empire’s, built on racism and exploitation of the Third World (hence “Rule Britannia” and “the Jewish State”) and the national liberation movements in the periphery (hence Palestine). So, when it comes down to it, we are all invented peoples, one way or another.

Another lexical sleight-of-hand that Palestinians have to fight is the now standard reference to “Jews versus Arabs”, which should be “Jews versus Muslims and Christians” or rather “diaspora Jewish colonisers versus native colonial subjects”, as many Jews are of Arab origin and “Jewish” in the first place refers to a religious affiliation. There is no Jewish nationality, despite Stalin’s decision to create one in the 1930s, just as there is no Muslim or Christian nationality, but rather a Jewish faith.

Even many Western Jewish critics of Israel such as Independent Jewish Voices say one thing and mean another. For them, fighting anti-Semitism is the primary goal. Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) state that they “extend support to Palestinians trapped in the spiral of violence and repression”

because they “believe that such actions are important in countering anti-Semitism”. In other words, even as they use words critical of Israeli atrocities, they effectively condone Israeli actions (as long as they are not too atrocious). Given that these critics are a tiny group, they act “to vindicate the Jewish people of crimes committed by the Jewish State in the name of the Jewish people”, argues ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon.

So it is hardly any wonder that Egyptians are looking closely these days at the meaning of the word “peace”, as in “peace between Israel and Egypt”. An important part of the 1979 Peace Treaty was the clause that guaranteed “full autonomy” for the Palestinians within five years. For 27 years, Israel has been violating this clause. Instead of “full autonomy”, three decades on, the Palestinians are being called an “invented people”, and the US patron of this treaty is winking as Israeli leaders prepare to ethnically cleanse this imaginary people.

Following Egypt’s revolution last year, the treaty immediately became a political football, with just about all politicians talking about revising or cancelling it. The alarm bells rang in Washington and Tel Aviv and there are ongoing secret negotiations between the US and the Egyptian military demanding ironclad assurances that the treaty will remain in force before the generals hand over power to a civilian government. This was confirmed last week by Egypt’s most respected statesman and presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei, who told the Iranian news agency Fars, “The negotiations were completely secret and confidential … I believe that the Americans wanted to ensure that the deals signed between Egypt and Israel will remain intact if Islamists ascend to power.”

No Egyptians want a US-backed military coup in Egypt, especially the Islamists. Hence, Salafist Al-Nour Party spokesman Yousry Hammad was quick to tell Israeli radio that “the treaty is binding because Egypt has signed it,” while explaining that the Egyptian people want to amend certain articles to enable Egypt to better control Sinai, “and that we must be able to send aid to our Palestinian brothers in Gaza without problems.”

Interestingly, the Muslim Brotherhood is more nuanced in its political platform, referring to criteria for examining international agreements based on Sharia law and the degree of Israel’s compliance with the agreement. Re-examining the treaty is embedded in the Freedom and Justice Party’s (FJP) platform and calls for any decision on the treaty by the new parliament to be put to a referendum. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Rashad Al-Bayoumi says, “We weren’t party to the peace treaty; it was signed away from the Egyptian people and thus the people must have their say.” FJP Secretary-General Mohamed Saad El-Kataany reaffirmed last week that the FJP respects all international treaties as long as they achieve their goals. Which of course leaves the fate of the Camp David Accords of 1979 very much in question, given Israel’s violation of it for the past 27 years.

Nobel Peace Prize winner ElBaradei is dismissed by some Egyptians as a liberal who served the US world order as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, though in fact he has called for former President George W Bush and his cabinet to be tried by the International Criminal Court for war crimes for the “shame of a needless war” on Iraq. We must do this, he writes in his memoirs The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times, to answer the question, “Do we, as a community of nations, have the wisdom and courage to take the corrective measures needed, to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again?” ElBaradei also warned Israel in April that as president he would consider taking the ultimate “corrective measure”: “If Israel attacked Gaza we would declare war against the Zionist regime.”

If this liberal Egyptian politician is to be believed, then a Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist dominated parliament will most certainly support him, as would virtually all Egyptians. So all the US intriguing with the military behind Egyptians’ backs will not save Israel’s bacon. Nor will all the lexical sleights-of-hand about “settlers”, “invented people” and even soft Zionist criticism of Israel. And when the imperial project of colonising Palestine by the invented Israeli people inevitably ends, many of the latter will decide to dust off their European and American passports, brush up on their French, Russian or American slang, and rediscover their ethnic roots in the lands of their forefathers.

No less an Israeli icon that Theodore Herzl wanted just that. Herzl’s original idea about ending anti-Semitism is found in his diaries in a letter he wrote the pope offering to arrange a mass conversion of Jews in Hungary as the beginning of a total conversion to Christianity and complete assimilation of Jews into European secular society. When this didn’t pan out, he then turned to mass migration to Palestine as the fall back solution.

For all the lexical gymnastics employed by Israel lobbyists, Israel is really just the latest manifestation of the Jewish diaspora, a colony, the brainchild of British empire and Jewish dreamers, and is fated to remain so until it disowns its imperial origins and learns to speak the local lingo, which just happens to be Arabic, not reinvented Hebrew. Recall Humpty Dumpty’s fate, despite his clever use of words in the pursuit of power.


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