Monday, November 30, 2009

Greenstein on Argentina, Israel and anti-Semitism

Yesterday Tony Greenstein published a lengthy, well-researched and shocking piece about the collusion between Israel and the murderous and fascist Galtieri regime, resulting in the deaths of some 3,000 left wing Argentinian Jews. Not something you're likely to read on Harry's Place.

From Argentina - Proof that Israel is no refuge from anti-Semitism just a taster snippet:

Post 1945 there was one regime that murdered Jews because they were Jews and in particular because they were left-wing Jews. In Argentina between 1976 and 1983 3,000 of the Disappeared Ones were Jewish, 10% of those murdered by the fascists. Yet there was not one word of protest from Israel. Quite the contrary. It would seem that Israel was actually advising these torturers on 'counter-insurgency'.

And from one of Greenstein's sources (Ha'aretz - 31/08/89):

‘But perhaps it is just as appalling to extend massive military aid to one of the world’s most murderous regimes, yet Israel supplied the evil Argentinian junta with weapons and tools of repression during the years in which they kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and killed tens of thousands of civilians. Israeli-Argentinian relations were never closer than in the late 1970’s.’

Now read the whole piece.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Third Reich in Jerusalem...

One of the most deeply annoying tactics of modern Zionists is the trollish attempt at creating connections between Radical Islam and the Nazis. And of course by illogical extension to consider also the plight of the Palestinians as essentially a well-deserved come-uppance for the Grand Mufti's association with the Nazis. In reality these trollisms are merely designed to railroad conversations on Israel/Palestine into ahistorical cul-de-sacs.

Here's just an introductory snippet from lenin's excellent debunking of another bon ton attempt at such linkage:

The belief that we live in Enlightened times, that the prevailing cosmovision is scientific and rational, is itself a component of an irrational and violent ideology. We do not live in such a time, and the intelligentsia do not produce work reflecting such commitments. Rather, the great bulk of intellectual production is a labour of fabulation. Histories are aesthetic products, stimulating narratives for those bored with the novel, morality tales for those disenchanted with religion, improving sentiments and axioms for those who don't want to spend their tube journey deflecting anxiety about work with a copy of the Metro. The efficacy of these works as aesthetic productions, dealing in irony, allusion and juxtaposition, and using tragic, romantic or comedic modes of emplotment, is part of their proof, part of their ability to persuade.

So, in the interminable era of the 'war on terror', we have been fed a slurry of literature rehearsing the apocalyptic dramaturgy of Oswald Spengler and his epigones. The key actor, the hero, is the corporative entity known as 'The West'. It is locked in a mortal combat, a fight to the death, with the villain, a relentless and tyrannical opponent, known as 'radical Islam' or 'Islamo-fascism' or 'totalitarianism', tout court. The ideas of 'totalitarianism' constitute the deus ex machina, the animating spirit that subjectivates an otherwise inert substrata of humanity, and sends it rushing, ululating, en masse, toward Jerusalem or New York.

The latest installment of this narrative is provided by the American Eustonite, Jeffrey Herf (criticised by Richard Wolin here, resulting in a debate here). Disinterring, once again, the collusion between Haj Amin al-Husseini, the British-imposed Mufti of Jerusalem, and Adolf Hitler, Herf sets out make the case that 'radical Islam' constitutes the third wave of 'totalitarianism' in the world, following communism and fascism. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Do read the rest here.

As one commenter noted, bizarre and often very minor alliances between Nazis and the most unlikely bed-fellows are a plenty, as an alphabet of countries supplying minor Nazi contingents could easily be constructed from this interesting photo reportage.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Checkpoint Charlie: Brits re-imagine Palestinian experience

H/T Mondoweiss.

Monday, November 23, 2009

All you need is settlements (tatadadadam...)

From JTA via email alert:

Mofaz, the Likud Party defense minister-turned-Kadima leader, says the first step is the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders on 60 percent of the territory in the West Bank. Then, over the course of the next four to six years, the two sides would negotiate the final-status issues, including permanent borders. The final deal would be put to national referendums in Israel and Palestine.

Under his plan, not a single Israeli settlement would be uprooted during the course of final-status negotiations, and both Gaza and the West Bank would be united under a moderate Palestinian government. In the end, Jerusalem would remain united under Israeli sovereignty, the large Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank would be annexed to Israel, and the Palestinian state would be completely demilitarized.

"Israel must initiate forward movement rather than being dragged into unwanted agreements," Mofaz said last week at a presentation of his plan to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

He also sat down for a one-on-one interview with JTA to discuss his proposal.

"Today, we don't have an Israeli master plan for implementing the vision of the two-state solution," Mofaz said. "This is the first plan."

Absent a Palestinian partner with the willingness and standing to sign on, the only thing Mofaz needs is a genie in a bottle to make it come true.

You've gotta love that term: "must initiate forward movement".

Basically this plan, which appears on the face of it even more half-baked than the whispered Palestinian plan to 'go unilateral', calls for annexing 40 % of the West Bank ("not a single Israeli settlement would be uprooted") and a wait and see if the "a moderate Palestinian government of the completely demilitarized Palestinian state" would be amenable to Israel's final status demands. At least this way Israel wouldn't be "dragged into unwanted agreements". In fact, Israel continues along current lines at least for the next 6 years or so. Don't you just love long and protracted peace "processes"?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life under a Blockade: Gaza

Here follows the second part of an interview with Dalia El Massri (from Khan Younis, Gaza), this time concentrating on the living conditions in Gaza and how they are affected by the ongoing siege. (The first part, on Hamas, can be found here). All photos by Dalia El Massri taken on 05/11/2009.

Q: The siege continues unabated and we're told that economic conditions in Gaza are at an all time low, with unemployment rates up to 50 % or so. Does this affect your personal life and that of your family and friends and how?

A: Over 80 % of people in Gaza are now living below the poverty line. It was never like this any time before the siege. The blockade is literally putting the Gazan economy in a state of complete hibernation. There is absolutely nothing we can export and we can only import what Israel allows us to get through the checkpoints (which close a few days a week and during Jewish holidays and whenever the mood takes them).

A civilian house on Khan Younis shore, it was not completely built yet at the time of bombing.

So the blockade affects our lives in every conceivable aspect. The markets continually run out of all kinds of products. For instance for 2 months during last spring we had to manage without any kind of soap because Israel refused to let any in. In reality this is just a small example, more importantly are the major restrictions on all building materials. The houses that were reduced to ruins during the winter war are still in ruins today because no cement, wood, steel or glass is allowed in. All our windows, as well as the neighbours' windows are still covered with thick plastic because the glass was broken due to the heavy bombing. Now winter is approaching again, imagine having to live with this situation every hour of the day.

The blockade also goes beyond the commercial and consumables: it's applied in equal measure to people. My husband needed to cross Eretz twice to present his Ph D exam in the West Bank and he was denied passage for security reasons.

Nahed (my husband) obtained his masters back in 2000, so now he need to pass a first step exam to be accepted into the PhD program. He prepared himself for 5 months for the first time, but the IDF refused to grant him the permit to pass through Eretz, with no excuses offered. The second time he asked the Palestinian Health Ministry to coordinate his pass permit with the Israeli side, yet still they refused to give him the permit to pass, with the implied allegation that he is a menace to the Israeli security: My husband is a surgeon and has nothing to do with our or Israeli security.

A friend of mine who came from the UAE to visit her parents back in 2007 was literally denied from leaving the strip, she meant to stay for a month but thanks to the unjustified blockade she was made to stay for a whole year. She happens to be a mother which adds a whole dimension to her suffering.

Q: Apart from limited humanitarian aid coming in, there seem to be quite ridiculous restrictions on everyday items allowed into Gaza. To what extent do you think the smuggling of goods through the tunnels connecting Gaza with Egypt alleviates the situation?

A: The tunnel business as we call it here relieves the situation in many different areas as we depend on Egyptian fuel for automobiles and personal electricity generators as well as food (dairy, canned foods... etc) and clothes. But the tunnel business costs a lot of money and occasionally lives as well. Everything is triple price than what it really worth, so only people with a sound financial situation can afford what ever is brought by the tunnels and that's less than 20% of Gazans.

The tunnel business has its own special limitations in the sense anything that can not fit into the tunnel cannot enter Gaza via this route. You may find this as amusing as I did: they smuggled a complete Zoo of animals through the tunnels but only an elephant couldn't fit, so Gazan kids are still waiting to have an elephant at the first ever Zoo to be established in such conditions.

Another civilian house on the shore of KY, targeted by warships.

Q: Despite huge pledges made by the International Community with regards to the reconstruction of Gaza, it appears there is a near-complete ban on all construction materials being prevented from entering Gaza. Is there any reconstruction effort going on at all? If so, do the tunnels play a part in it and how?

A: Unfortunately Egypt is not willing to allow building materials in into Gaza (they will only allow reconstruction of Gaza under a unity Government), so only very small amounts of cement were illegally smuggled in but that can not and will not cover any of the huge demand to rebuild whatever have been destroyed in the last war.

An impact point (bomb crater) of a highly explosive rocket in a Governmental institution, a 1000 pounds bomb was probably used here.

Q: Did you notice the various efforts to break the siege, like the Viva Palestina! convoys organised by British MP George Galloway? Do you see these as bringing any relief at all? How are they perceived by the Gazan population?

A. All the convoys that were sent and still are very welcomed by everyone in Gaza, it gives a great boost to our spirits but sadly it has a less of a material effect. It's one million and a half who have lived here for more than 3 years under a horrifying siege, so even a 100 convoys won't make a difference, but still no one can deny and not appreciate the solidarity feelings coming from through those courageous people. The first ship that challenged the blockade was an event to be remembered in every Gazan's memory.

The roof of the building in the picture above, where the bomb fell inside the place.

Q: The siege brings with it further travel restrictions I'd imagine. How do they affect your life and the lives of your loved ones?

A: Traveling is not an option under the blockade (if it was no one would stay in Gaza), only foreign passports holders, students with permits and sick people are allowed to travel, and in very awful conditions. Those people go many times to the Rafah point, stay in the sun all day and return many times till they are allowed to pass. Over 300 patients have died in the last 3 years while waiting to cross into Egypt for treatment.

The ruins of a house in the Refugee Camp Khan Younis, notice the damages to nearby buildings.

Q: Hospital supplies are claimed to be in very short supply. Do you see any direct consequences of this for people you know personally?

A: The hospitals were the places that most benefit from the humanitarian aids convoys, but still we are talking 6 months ago and some medicines are running out from all healthcare centers, hospitals and even private pharmacies and shops. My husband claims that in less of one month situation will aggravate if things stays the same. The other day my son had a bad case of flu and we could not find any anti-histamine drugs in the stores and the flu season is at our doorsteps! (Here in Gaza, anti-histamines are prescribed to ease up the flu symptoms like a bad dry cough, inflammations of the respiratory system and runny nose to dilate the lung vessels and facilitate breathing)

Bomb shells effects on a house on the Refugee Camp KhanYounis.

The remains of a police station on KY beach.

Closed markets (due to the blockade) downtown KY.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The situation, in a nutshell

Anna Baltzer, author, and Haithem El-Zabri, founder of the Palestine Online Store. Austin, TX, November 2008. [Photographer unknown]

From Mondo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roger Cohen on Iran

Mondoweiss (Phil) has a very interesting piece on Roger Cohen taking a Neocon bully to task about Iran. Well worth the read but cutting and pasting wouldn't do it any justice. Go, look, see...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finkelstein on Danish TV...

Really he should be on American TV of course, they need it the most. But anyone who gets dispirited by following the multiple Zionist tracks for railroading the conversation ('Israel's democracy', 'the Gamas Teggog', 'Arafat's facial hair', you name it...) should always recap and take a leaf out of this man's book. With astonishing clarity he reminds us again of what it's all about: International Law and Israel's continued exemptions from it... calm, cool and collected.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A bit of strange Far-Left baiting at Harry's Place...

Much to the embarrassment of British Zionism, the BNP (and around the same time also the EDL) recently declared its support for Israel. 'Anti-Semites for Israel' isn't exactly a first of course and in the case of the BNP (and the EDL) there is an unexpected but inescapable logic to that position, because one cannot logically support an ethno-State for White Britons and deny the Zionists their own little ethno-centric Heaven on Earth, now can one?

All this riles Edmund Standing (Harry's Place contributor) in as much as he's trying to link one of the BNP's head imbeciles, John Lee Barnes, to the far Left, on the basis that both are anti-Semitic:

BNP Legal Director Lee Barnes is back to his old tricks: reproducing an article taken from an anti-Semitic website, written by a man who describes himself as a ‘proud self-hating Jew’.

The website is – find out more here.

The self-hating Jew is Gilad Atzmon – find out more here.

Barnes believes in ‘revolution‘, class conflict, and ‘anti-Zionism‘. The irony is that if he would only drop the BNP affiliation, he would be welcomed with open arms by the far-Left.

Lee Barnes' anti-Semitism and his "support [of] the right of all nations to self determination" are as I said not at all mutually exclusive. "Juden and all other brownies raus" isn't at all incompatible with support for the ethno-centric state of Israel. As he puts it in the comment section:

Anti-zionist boys not anti-Israel.

Get it right.

As a nationalist I support the right of all nations to self determination.

Loyalty to Zionism is treason to Britain

A bit further down he explains what he understands by "Zionism":

Zionism is the Zionist Nazi global network of inner traitors in all nations who seek to use their own nations, economic systems, political systems and media systems for the benefit of the Zionist Nazis in Israel.

I support Israel and Palestinian nationalism - but I regard Islamists and Zionists as traitors and criminals.

So, nice try Edmund but John Lee Barns is still a Far Right anti-Semite cackling about 'treason', and one who supports Israel. And no matter what you think, John Lee Barnes wouldn't be welcomed by the Far Left...

Palinesque: Let Jewish Settlements Expand...

Just possibly the next POTUS:

"I disagree with the Obama administration on that," Palin told Walters. "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don't think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand."

Oh well, at least we'll know where we stand... It would appear that Palin wants to be a future dope dealer to Israel.

Gideon Levy on Israel's Addiction...

No idea whether this is old or new but it's rather timeless. Gideon at his sharpest (and maybe saddest)...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jews say No!... to Dershowitz

Oh boy, the Rottweiler of Neocon Zionism isn't going to like this one. From here I think I can hear his deep breathing from being on the blower to this University: insurrection on campus!

The Fordham University School of Law National Lawyer’s Guild chapter and Amnesty International chapter, together with Jews Say No!, are co-sponsoring a program at Fordham on the Goldstone report from 12:30 until 2 P.M. on Thursday, November 19th. We are doing this to enable a serious and substantive discussion to take place with international law and human rights experts. This program will be a few hours before the speech about the report to be given by Alan Dershowitz. As most of you undoubtedly know, Dershowitz has been an uncompromising defender of Israel’s actions in the occupied territories, a position that has led him to consistently reject any criticisms of those actions by international human rights groups. Dershowitz’s fixed views about Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians make him, perhaps, singularly unqualified to present a fair analysis of the report. With regard to Israel’s actions in Gaza, which are a prime subject of the Goldstone report, Dershowitz has already made his position clear. Days into Israel’s operation in Gaza, which had already begun to attract international criticism, Dershowitz wrote this in the Wall Street Journal: "Israel’s actions in Gaza are justified under international law, and Israel should be commended for its self-defense against terrorism."

We encourage you to support the students by coming to the program. Your presence would mean a lot to them!

The program is being held at:

Fordham University School of Law
140 West 62nd Street (and Amsterdam)

Room 204

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lib Left Joe Klein calls for sanctions against Israel

Another sign of how the US public debate on Israel/Palestine is shifting quite significantly is this fairly clear-headed bit of analysis in Time's blog.

After a bit of bull on how Arafat stymied a deal with Ehud Barak (pssst, Joe, it was Barak and Ben-Ami who walked away from that table, fearing electoral defeat at home. Sharon won anyway) he cuts to the chase:

It is in the best interests of the United States for the Israelis to make this deal. It is also in the best interests of the Israelis. The Neocon-Likudniks have neither Israel's nor our best interests at heart. Boot is right: The Obama Administration may have to be a bit less "grandiose" in dealing with Netanyahu's irredentist government. It should start by putting a hold on all economic and military aid to Israel; the aid should not be discontinued, just held, for a nice long review until the Netanyahu government comes to understand that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine, and that if you actually want peace, you don't build illegal settlement colonies in the Palestinian capital.

Anyone correct me if I'm wrong but this appears to be the first time someone in the US MSM is calling for sanctions against Israel...

And then there's this damning report in Ha'aretz: U.S. State Department: Israel is not a tolerant society:

Israel dismally fails the requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society, according to a new report from the U.S. State Department.

Despite boasting religious freedom and protection of all holy sites, Israel falls short in tolerance toward minorities, equal treatment of ethnic groups, openness toward various streams within society, and respect for holy and other sites.

The comprehensive report, written by the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, says Israel discriminates against groups including Muslims, Jehova's Witnesses, Reform Jews, Christians, women and Bedouin.

The report says that the 1967 law on the protection of holy places refers to all religious groups in the country, including in Jerusalem, but "the government implements regulations only for Jewish sites. Non-Jewish holy sites do not enjoy legal protection under it because the government does not recognize them as official holy sites."

At the end of 2008, for example, all of the 137 officially recognized holy sites were Jewish. Moreover, Israel issued regulations for the identification, preservation and guarding of Jewish sites only. Many Christian and Muslim sites are said to be neglected, inaccessible or at risk of exploitation by real estate entrepreneurs and local authorities.

The report makes it clear that practices that have become routine in Israel are considered unacceptable in enlightened countries and should be corrected.

Among other examples, the report notes that more than 300,000 immigrants who are not considered Jewish under rabbinical law are not allowed to marry and divorce in Israel or be buried in Jewish cemeteries.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Save the Galilee!

From Ernie Haldram's The Bureau of Counterpropaganda blog:

I don’t usually go for the low hanging fruit, but the other day, I received an advert proclaiming,

Jewish Galilee In Danger

Do you want to do something about it? Be A Partner in Saving The Galilee! Buy A Piece of Israel! "Because it's time to take our country back!"

It had never occurred to me that Jews could buy indulgences, but it transpires that

"One who purchases 4 cubits (amot) in the Land of Israel is assured a portion in the World to Come"

- Midrash Zuta on Megilat Ruth (4:5)

For US$100, you can not only buy a plot in the afterlife, but also 4 square metres ‘of Lower Galilee farming land for B'Ahavat Yisrael's Avoda Ivrit (Jewish Labor) youth farming project’.

That’s right, Hebrew labour is back.

The land will be farmed exclusively by Jewish youths and the more land that is purchased and worked by Jews the better chance we have of ensuring Jewish sovereignty in the Galilee!

But wait, there’s more!

Special Offer: Dedicate your own section of 18 plots for only $1,500!

Not only that, but if you’re a US resident, your little investment in ethnic cleansing is tax deductible.

On his website, beneath the slogan ‘...because it is time to take our country back...’, B'Ahavat Yisrael’s founder and director, Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner), writes,

If you read or see CNN or the BBC or even the more even handed FOX news, you may come away with the feeling that the government of Israel's settlement policy is an illegal impediment to Peace...

He is scandalised that,

...the Arabs are voting citizens...they receive more National Insurance per capita than Jews...they are causing more deadly car accidents per capita...the media, the Judiciary, and the overall control of the 'system' are controlled by self hating Jewish leftists...the Arabs are winning point after point as the base of a Jewish state dissolves with each point...Thanks to Israel's Extreme Leftist dominated Supreme Court the Israeli Land Authority can no longer develop a new community exclusively for Jews...Arabs can now buy homes in Jewish villages...The Negev is being taken over by blatant Bedouin land grabs and there are thousands upon thousands of illegal houses all over the Negev...

If you have the stomach for more racist autoparody, follow the link.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

These children deserve to have someone ask why they died!

Brian Baird on the floor of the House saying he has twin four-year-old boys and then turning to a photo of three massacred Palestinian children and saying, These children deserve to have someone ask why they died!

H/T Mondoweiss.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Abbas charts new course by abandoning faith in the US

Tony Karon, in The Nation

‘Who lost China?” was the battle cry of a witch-hunt conducted in the US State Department following the 1949 victory of Mao Zedong’s communists. The department’s “China hands”, critics charged, had been woefully ignorant of the dynamics at work on the ground in China after the Second World War, and undermined the US ally Chiang Kai-shek. While the purge that followed is unlikely to be repeated, Washington may soon be asking itself, albeit quietly, “Who lost Fatah?”

Last week’s announcement by the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that he would not seek re-election next January was a warning to the Obama administration, which had put Mr Abbas in an untenable position. Having retreated from its own demand that Israel halt all construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Washington expected Mr Abbas to open talks with the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu without conditions.

For the Palestinians, however, the settlement-freeze demand was a test of Mr Obama’s willingness to pressure the Israelis into taking steps they won’t take by choice. Mr Abbas knows that Mr Netanyahu, if it were up to him, would not yield to a viable, independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. If the US is not prepared to pressure Israel, negotiations would not only be fruitless, they would actually help sustain a reality that is relatively comfortable for the Israelis but intolerable for the Palestinians.

The Fatah leadership knows that it can’t begin to reverse its eclipse by Hamas if it remains locked in fruitless talks in perpetuity. So the insistence that there could be no resumption of talks absent a clear signal – in the form of the settlement freeze – that, this time, Washington meant business. But when the secretary of state Hillary Clinton last weekend hailed Mr Netanyahu’s “no, but...” offer as “unprecedented”, and urged the Palestinians to return to the table, it was no longer possible to sustain the illusion that the Obama administration had the political will to pressure Israel.

The writing was already on the wall for Mr Abbas last month, when Washington demonstrated a blithe indifference to his political circumstances by leaning on him to withdraw support for a UN discussion of the Goldstone findings on alleged war crimes in Gaza. Plainly, for Mr Obama, as for Messrs Bush and Clinton before him, Israel’s needs always trump those of the Palestinian leadership.

But Washington also ought to have taken a lesson from Mr Abbas’s decision to reverse himself, following a firestorm of criticism, and back the UN discussion of the Goldstone report. Forced to choose between the US on the one hand and his own people and the Fatah movement on the other, Mr Abbas could no longer be counted on to follow the bidding of the White House – as he had done throughout the tenure of the Bush administration, with precious little to show for it.

If anything, the current administration’s quiescence on Israel is far more devastating politically, both to Mr Abbas and to US interests in the wider Middle East, than Mr Bush’s war in Iraq. That’s because Mr Obama had very publicly raised expectations that the US would finally balance Israel’s security concerns against the pursuit of justice for the Palestinians. Mr Obama was seen as the Palestinians’ last hope of redress for their suffering. By refusing to hold Mr Netanyahu’s feet to the fire, Mr Obama has dashed that hope.

The very act of throwing up his hands and threatening to walk away actually demonstrates how little leverage the Palestinian Authority president actually has. (Not even the threat to withhold his candidacy will be taken seriously in Washington, since the election itself is unlikely to be held – Israel won’t allow voting in East Jerusalem, and absent a reconciliation deal, Hamas won’t allow voting in Gaza.) And leverage lies at the heart of the deadlock: a country that has occupied territory for four decades doesn’t suddenly decide to voluntarily end their occupation out of the goodness of their hearts.

Mr Abbas recognised that armed struggle is a cul-de-sac because it challenges Israel at its strongest point – the “balance of terror” briefly achieved by the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada dramatically strengthened Israel’s diplomatic position at the Palestinians’ expense, and cemented a hardline political consensus in Israel.

The sad truth dawning on Ramallah, now, is that there will be no salvation from Washington. Not now, possibly not ever. A sad truth, perhaps, but the kind that can set free those who recognise it. In the shocked aftermath of the 1967 war, Fatah took the lead in breaking the Palestine Liberation Organisation free of the tutelage of the Arab League, in a declaration of independence that put their fate in their own hands rather than relying on Arab armies to defeat Israel. Today, they face a similar challenge – declaring independence from Washington and once again taking their fate into their own hands.

The idea of a two-state solution being negotiated between Israeli and Palestinian leaders with USIsrael arbitration is in the deep freeze. Curiously enough, though, despite Israel’s intractable military dominance, it is feeling increasingly vulnerable – not to the much-hyped Iranian threat (Israel, after all, is threatening to bomb Iran, not the other way around) but to a growing sense of international isolation. The Goldstone issue highlights the trend towards holding accountable to universal standards from which it has traditionally claimed a free pass.

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, breached not by an assault from the West, but by the rot that had festered in the society it ostensibly protected. Last week, in the Palestinian village of Bi’lin, activists managed to breach Israel’s West Bank security barrier [my link added] in a kind of “Mr Netanyahu, tear down this wall!” moment evoking Ronald Reagan’s challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev. The Palestinians don’t need suicide vests or rockets to put Israel on the back foot, and raise the political cost of the occupation. But the Obama administration won’t do it for them.

Tony Karon blogs at rootless cosmopolitan,

Friday, November 06, 2009

Baseball with a Twist: the NY Mets meet the Settlers

Mirrored from Jews sans Frontieres. You need to watch both vids to 'get it'...

Much more info here or below. Send a letter to the NY Mets (see end of post).

New York, NY, November 4, 2009 – Eleven organizations from the US, Palestine and Israel have called on baseball's New York Mets to cancel a November 21st dinner at the Caesars Club at Citi Field for the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. The dinner is a fundraiser for Israeli settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank City of Hebron. In a letter sent to the Mets on November 3rd, the groups said, “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the Obama administration’s call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron.” Seven hundred Israeli settlers, living amidst 150,000 Palestinians in Hebron, are expanding their hold on the historic old city by driving out the Palestinian residents.

The groups added that “It would be a tragic irony for an event funding Israeli settlers’ violent actions and discriminatory policies against Palestinians to be held at Caesars Club which, according to the Mets, “sits directly on top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda,” which was named “in honor of Jackie Robinson, the… great American who broke baseball's color barrier.” The Mets and Major League Baseball promote Robinson’s legacy, including Robinson’s value of “Justice: Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are.” Mets owner Fred Wilpon has explained in the past that, as a 16 year-old, meeting Jackie Robinson was an experience that never left him. “As a kid, a nothing, he treated me with all of that dignity that he treated everyone else in his life.”

On the Hebron Fund webpage, clicking on the symbol which says “Give to Hebron” leads to a donations page on the website for the Jewish Community of Hebron which says, among other things, “keep Hebron Jewish for the Jewish people.” In a report on Hebron, the Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and ACRI have labeled the demands of Hebron’s settlers as “racist.” Hebron settlement leader Moshe Levinger, praised in a Hebron Fund dinner video, has been quoted saying,“The Arabs know to behave like good boys around us.” Hebron Fund Executive Director Yossi Baumol also made very derogatory comments about Arabs in a 2007 interview.

The signers of the letter include Adalah-NY, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Brooklyn For Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), CODEPINK Women for Peace, Gush Shalom (Israel), Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (Palestine), US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and WESPAC Foundation. The letter was cced and sent to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, who has a history of involvement with Major League Baseball, and Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s wife.

The letter explains that reviewing last year’s and this year’s Hebron Fund dinner shows that some dinner honorees support violence and terrorizing Palestinians. In 1990, Noam Arnon, who is to be honored at the dinner, called three Israelis who were convicted of killing three Arabs and maiming two Palestinian mayors in car bombings “heroes.” In a video on the Hebron Fund website, 2008 dinner honoree Myrna Zisman pays tribute to Hebron settler Yifat Alkoby. Alkoby became famous worldwide in 2006 when she was videotaped in Hebron terrorizing and calling a Palestinian woman and girl “whores” who were caged inside their own home as protection from settler attacks. In another video featuring 2008 dinner honorees, three children who appear to be the honorees’ children are briefly shown holding guns and smiling.

All Israeli settlements violate international law, according to a broad international consensus. The Hebron Fund’s dinner invitation says, “Join us in support of Hebron and in protest of today’s building freeze in Judea and SamariaWest Bank].” In a September, 2008 radio interview, the Hebron Fund’s Yossi Baumol explained, “There are real facts on the ground that are created by people helping the Hebron Fund and coming to our dinners.” [the

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius recently highlighted the Hebron Fund and noted that, “critics of Israeli settlements question why American taxpayers are supporting indirectly, through the exempt contributions, a process that the government condemns. A search of IRS records identified 28 U.S. charitable groups that made a total of $33.4 million in tax-exempt contributions to settlements and related organizations between 2004 and 2007.” The Hebron Fund has been the subject of complaints to the I.R.S. regarding its tax-exempt status. The complaints request investigations of allegations that it raises funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli organization Gush Shalom recently urged the National Lawyers Guild, an American organization, to encourage American tax authorities to strip US non-profits that support Israeli settlements of their tax-exempt status.

CLICK HERE for the letter to The Mets

CLICK HERE for Adalah-NY’s video on the Hebron Fund Dinner

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dennis McShame on You!

H/T Jews sans Frontieres.

A Labour BP is at the centre of a RACE ROW after appearing at the Cambridge Union.

Dr Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham, ordered an Egyptian student to "apologise for all Jews killed by Hamas."

MacShane was participating in a debate on the Middle East last Thursday (October 29th) when he came out with the SCANDALOUS SLUR.

The student, Ossama el Batran, a post-grad at Darwin College, made a point of information from the floor requesting the sympathy on behalf of the Palestinian humanitarian plight, which prompted the comments.

Pro-Israeli MacShane was putting to the floor whether a "Jew's life is worth anything", when el Batran spoke.

El Batran said, "What about an Arab's life?" At this point MacShane walked towards el Batran, pointing aggressively at him, saying "your Arab life is worth as much as a Jew's life and until you denounce the killing of Jews…This is the Cambridge Union. You are not a Hamas representative."

Hannah Perry, a student of Downing College, commented that the student was "a person ostensibly of no link to Hamas."

Perry described his behaviour as "unconscionable. He opened with a xenophobic tone which could be excused as light-hearted Franco-bashing with references to Union President Julien Domercq.

"His tone then became more alarming when he replied to a student making a point of information from the floor."

MacShane's shocking remarks were not well received from the floor. "It's fair to say that everyone was relieved when the former Minister of State for Europe, bowing to cries from the floor, took his seat," Perry said.

She added: "I admired said student, who despite this ridiculous, racist attack from an MP, remained calm."

A few minutes later, El Batran demanded that MacShane take back his earlier comments. He said "I request an apology from the second speaker of the opposition for calling me a Hamas representative just because I said a life was a life," to which he received applause from the audience.

Standing up again, MacShane said he wouldn't apologise until el Batran "stand[s] up and apologise[s] to every Jew killed by Hamas in Palestine."

According to this interesting eyewitness account Dennis McShane was drunk...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Give Settlements a Chance...

Obama having been railroaded by Netanyahu, the latter now feels sufficiently emboldened to insist on the completion of 3,000 'units' and he's got his pal Clintoooon to do the bidding for him:

JERUSALEM — Dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to restart Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton failed Saturday to persuade the Palestinian leader to accept an Israeli proposal that would slow but not stop the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, insisted that Israel must halt all construction of housing units before broader negotiations could begin. He rebuffed an Israeli proposal — developed by Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuSaeb Erekat, said after the meeting. and relayed by Mrs. Clinton — to complete about 3,000 units and temporarily freeze other construction, the chief Palestinian negotiator,

“This is a nonstarter,” Mr. Erekat said. “Mr. Netanyahu has a choice, settlements or peace, and he has chosen settlements.”

Dastardly 'Fakestinians', they don't want peace, they only want to drive the Zionists into the sea!

In the race for the Presidential nominations, Clintoooon scored high in Ha'aretz' 'who do you want as President for Occupied Washington?' surveys (primarily for her stance on an Undivided J'sem), now her popularity in Israel will undoubtedly soar again...