Monday, November 28, 2011

More intimidation tactics by the Israeli Far Right

Via email subscription from Peace Now, by Lee Wilson:

Yesterday I got a message to my phone, (as I picked up my kids from school), that said "Lee, Today I Will Kill You".

Not knowing whether this was a prank or a threat I quickly called the other members of our Peace Now team - some of them also received such messages…..
we reported this to the police.

It turns out the guy who sent the message was the same guy who told Yariv a few weeks back that he will "put a bullet in his head" and called in a bomb threat to our offices and defaced our Jerusalem branch. He has been arrested 3 times, and released 3 times..why? Because his dad has connections with high up people - when will his Dad realise that his son is dangerous and needs to pay the price for his actions? Will they only do something when he eventually kills someone?

All of this is not unusual as when the Government is running a campaign of persecution and legislation against NGO's and leftist groups, calling us traitors and passing legislation to act against "enemies within" (as some MKs are trying to portray us).

Only last week the Home Security Minister told the Knesset
he feared another political assassination, with Peace Now members being the target.

From those Ha’aretz links:

Recently, death threats were sprayed on the apartment building of Ofran, a Peace Now activist, and Peace Now offices in Jerusalem were vandalized in suspected "price tag" attacks.

"Price tag" is the name given by extremists to activities against Palestinians, peace activists or security forces in response to what are considered to be actions against the settlements or illegal outposts in the West Bank.
"Police are conducting a vigorous investigation and arrested a suspect who is still in custody," Aharonovitch told MKs. "The case is still being investigated. The investigations branch is doing all it can to prevent such acts and to investigate fully what happened."

"As for the threat of another political murder, this is indeed a question," Aharonovitch said. "It is my job to be worried. The threat exists. Both we and the Shin Bet security service, it is our job to be vigilant and conduct all operations. We're talking about a threat that covers the entire political spectrum."

The most infamous political murder in Israeli history took place on November 4, 1995 when then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Jewish extremist after a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Schocken shocker: calling a spade a spade

Amos Schocken - Ha’aretz

Speaking in the Knesset in January 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, "Iran is in the initial stages of an effort to acquire nonconventional capability in general, and nuclear capability in particular. Our assessment is that Iran today has the appropriate manpower and sufficient resources to acquire nuclear arms within 10 years. Together with others in the international community, we are monitoring Iran's nuclear activity. They are not concealing the fact that the possibility that Iran will possess nuclear weapons is worrisome, and this is one of the reasons that we must take advantage of the window of opportunity and advance toward peace."
At that time, Israel had a strategy - which began to be implemented in the Oslo accords, put an end to the priority granted the settlement project and aimed to improve the treatment of Israel's Arab citizens.

If things had gone differently, the Iran issue might look different today. However, as it turned out, the Oslo strategy collided with another, stronger ideology: the ideology of Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful ), which since the 1970s, apart from the Oslo period and the time of the withdrawal from Gaza, has established the concrete basis for the actions of Israel's governments. Even governments that were ostensibly far removed from the Gush Emunim strategy implemented it in practice. Ehud Barak boasted that, in contrast to other prime ministers, he did not return territory to the Palestinians - and there's no need to point out once again the increase in the number of settlers during his tenure. The government of Ehud Olmert, which declared its intention to move toward a policy of hitkansut (or "convergence," another name for what Ariel Sharon termed "disengagement" ) in Judea and Samaria, held talks with senior Palestinians on an agreement but did not stop the settlement enterprise, which conflicts with the possibility of any agreement.

The strategy that follows from the ideology of Gush Emunim is clear and simple: It perceives of the Six-Day War as the continuation of the War of Independence, both in terms of seizure of territory, and in its impact on the Palestinian population. According to this strategy, the occupation boundaries of the Six-Day War are the borders that Israel must set for itself. And with regard to the Palestinians living in that territory - those who did not flee or were not expelled - they must be subjected to a harsh regime that will encourage their flight, eventuate in their expulsion, deprive them of their rights, and bring about a situation in which those who remain will not be even second-class citizens, and their fate will be of interest to no one. They will be like the Palestinian refugees of the War of Independence; that is their desired status. As for those who are not refugees, an attempt should be made to turn them into "absentees." Unlike the Palestinians who remained in Israel after the War of Independence, the Palestinians in the territories should not receive Israeli citizenship, owing to their large number, but then this, too, should be of interest to no one.

The ideology of Gush Emunim springs from religious, not political motivations. It holds that Israel is for the Jews, and it is not only the Palestinians in the territories who are irrelevant: Israel's Palestinian citizens are also exposed to discrimination with regard to their civil rights and the revocation of their citizenship.

This is a strategy of territorial seizure and apartheid. It ignores judicial aspects of territorial ownership and shuns human rights and the guarantees of equality enshrined in Israel's Declaration of Independence. It is a strategy of unlimited patience; what is important is the unrelenting progress toward the goal. At the same time, it is a strategy that does not pass up any opportunity that comes its way, such as the composition of the present Knesset and the unclear positions of the prime minister.

The term "apartheid" refers to the undemocratic system of discriminating between the rights of the whites and the blacks, which once existed in South Africa. Even though there is a difference between the apartheid that was practiced there and what is happening in the territories, there are also some points of resemblance. There are two population groups in one region, one of which possesses all the rights and protections, while the other is deprived of rights and is ruled by the first group. This is a flagrantly undemocratic situation.

Since the Six-Day War, there has been no other group in Israel with the ideological resilience of Gush Emunim, and it is not surprising that many politicians have viewed that ideology as a means for realizing personal political ambitions. Zevulun Hammer, who identified this ideology as the way to capture the leadership of the National Religious Party, and Ariel Sharon, who identified this ideology as the way to capture the leadership of Likud, were only two of many. Now Avigdor Lieberman, too, is following this path, but there were and are others, such as the late Hanan Porat, for whom the realization of this ideology was and remains the purpose of their political activity.

This ideology views the creation of an Israeli apartheid regime as a necessary tool for its realization. It has no difficulty with illegal actions and with outright criminality, because it rests on mega-laws that it has adopted and that have no connection with the laws of the state, and because it rests on a perverted interpretation of Judaism. It has scored crucial successes. Even when actions inspired by the Gush Emunim ideology conflict with the will of the government, they still quickly win the backing of the government. The fact that the government is effectively a tool of Gush Emunim and its successors is apparent to everyone who has dealings with the settlers, creating a situation of force multiplication.

This ideology has enjoyed immense success in the United States, of all places. President George H.W. Bush was able to block financial guarantees to Israel because of the settlements established by the government of Yitzhak Shamir (who said lying was permissible to realize the Gush Emunim ideology. Was Benjamin Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan University speech a lie of this kind? ). Now, though, candidates for the Republican Party's presidential nomination are competing among themselves over which of them supports Israel and the occupation more forcefully. Any of them who adopt the approach of the first President Bush will likely put an end to their candidacy.

Whatever the reason for this state of affairs - the large number of evangelicals affiliated with the Republican party, the problematic nature of the West's relations with Islam, or the power of the Jewish lobby, which is totally addicted to the Gush Emunim ideology - the result is clear: It is not easy, and may be impossible, for an American president to adopt an activist policy against Israeli apartheid.

Legalizing the illegal

Because of its inherent illegality, at least in democratic terms, an apartheid regime cannot allow opposition and criticism. The Gush Emunim ideology is obliged to eliminate the latter, and to prevent every effort to block its activity, even if that activity is illegal and even criminal, meant to maintain apartheid. The illegal activity needs to be made legal, whether by amending laws or by changing their judicial interpretation - such things have occurred before, in other places and at other times.

Against this background, we are now seeing the campaign of legislation against, and the unbridled slandering of the Supreme Court, against human rights organizations and against the press, as well as the so-called boycott law, which is aimed at preventing the possibility of dealing with Israeli apartheid in the way South African apartheid was dealt with. It is against this same background that legislation has been submitted that is directed against the Arab citizens in Israel, such as the Loyalty Law and the proposal for a "Basic Law of Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People." It is against this background that a campaign of incitement and intimidation is being waged against the necessary and justified critique being voiced by members of academia.

The Supreme Court, which permitted the settlement project and effectively collaborated with the Gush Emunim ideology, has now become an obstacle that needs to be removed - in the eyes of those who still adhere to that ideology - primarily because the court refuses to recognize the possibility of settling on privately owned Palestinian land and did not overturn the government decision to evacuate the settlements in the Gaza Strip. Because the land belongs to the Jews by divine decree and history (from this perspective, there are similarities between Gush Emunim and Hamas ), there is no choice but to elect to the Supreme Court justices who live on Palestinian land, possibly private land, and those who understand that there is no such thing as "land under private Palestinian ownership."

Similarly, this line of thinking goes, the Supreme Court's interpretation of human rights laws also requires its elimination in its present format. Judgments such as those relating to the Kaadan family (allowing an Arab family to build a home in a Jewish community ); the selling of Jewish National Fund land to Arab citizens of Israel; the amendment to the Citizenship Law (no ruling has yet been handed down, but there seems to be a possibility that a majority of justices will rule it illegal ); the opening of a highway to Palestinian traffic - all these rulings conflict with essential elements in Gush Emunim ideology: the discrimination between Jews and Palestinians (in Israel and the territories ) and the deprivation of the Palestinians' rights, which transform them into second-class people, absentees or, best of all, refugees.

Does an Israel of this kind have a future? Over and beyond the question of whether Jewish morality and the Jewish experience allow such circumstances to exist, it is clear that this is a flagrantly unstable and even dangerous situation. It is a situation that will prevent Israel from fully realizing its vast potential, a situation of living by the sword - a sword that could be a third intifada, the collapse of peace with Egypt and a confrontation with a nuclear Iran. Yitzhak Rabin understood that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The boys who cry ‘Holocaust’

Below is a substantial part of an excellent article by Gary Kamya, which appeared very recently in Salon (the hide out of the also excellent Glenn Greenwald). Replete with loads of interesting and corroborating links it might be best viewed at source. Here’s a taster:

We’ve been through this before. As one of the most disastrous wars in our history is coming to an inglorious end, the same neoconservative hawks who dreamed it up are agitating for a new war that would make Iraq look like the invasion of Grenada — and using the ultimate trump card in American politics to silence debate over it.

When hawks begin beating the drums for war in the Middle East, Israel is usually a big reason why. That was true in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and it is doubly true with the current hysteria over Iran. Despite disingenuous claims to the contrary, the only reason the U.S. is even talking about war with Iran is Israel. As the invaluable M.J. Rosenberg, who knows the working of the Israel lobby as only a former card-carrying member can, notes, “It is impossible to find a single politician or journalist advocating war with Iran who is not a neocon or an AIPAC cutout. (They’re often both.)”

Ever since the International Atomic Energy Agency released its overhyped, old-news report on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s amen corner in the U.S. has been loudly calling for war.

If American politics did not contain an enormous blind spot, no one would pay any attention to what these discredited ideologues have to say. The Iraq war they championed turned out to be one of the biggest foreign-policy disasters in U.S. history. Their ignorant and Islamophobic view of the Middle East is as breathtaking as their bland willingness to commit America to yet another ruinous war against a Muslim country, this time one four times larger than Iraq and with more than twice as many people. They have a demonstrated track record of complete failure.

Yet these incompetent militarists are still taken seriously. And the reason is simple: They purport to be supporters of Israel. In American politics, you can get away with even the most cracked war-mongering as long as you claim to be “pro-Israel.” And the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card for anything having to do with Israel is the Holocaust.

To listen to the neocons and hawks, you’d think Hitler was about to send the tanks over the Polish border. Former U.S. ambassador and Dr. Strangelove impersonator John Bolton said, “The only alternative now is the potential for a pre-emptive military strike against their military program, either by the United States or Israel.

Diplomacy has failed. Sanctions have failed.” For Bolton, Iran is the second coming of Nazi Germany: “If the choice is them continuing [towards a nuclear bomb] or the use of force, I think you’re at a Hitler marching into the Rhineland point … We’re still in 1936, but not for long.”

read the rest.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Too whacky for Faux News but ZOA HEART Glenn Beck

And a big HEART it is too. Whackjob wingnut Glenn Beck got a bit too extreme even for the broadcasters that could easily pass for a spoof, Faux Noise, but the Zionist Organisation of America can’t get enough of him. H/T Antony Loewenstein on Beck’s lachrymose mendacity:

The Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner is a place where conventional thinking about the liberal proclivities of American Jews goes to die. But never quite like Sunday night — when Tea Party darling and Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachman served as the opening act and Glenn Beck was swarmed like a rock star.

Beck, who was on hand to receive the ZOA’s Defender of Israel Award, made his way into the VIP reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan shortly after 5 p.m. and almost instantly was beset by a crush of admirers. He found himself wedged into a corner as a crowd of well-wishers surged forward to have their photographs taken with him. Bachmann and her fellow Republican congresswoman, Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, were there, too — but it was clear who the star was.

“Love, love, love, love, love,” Ros-Lehtinen said, extending her hand to Beck, who responded by clasping hers in both of his. All around her, an expanding mass of people pressed in closer, seemingly eager to express the same sentiment.

“I need everyone to back up please,” a photographer practically yelled as he tried to create a cordon around the VIPs to set up his shot. But despite help from Beck’s two bodyguards, an assistant, and assorted publicists and ZOA personnel, the crowd kept pushing ahead.

Crowd control proved to be a recurring problem at the dinner. After the appetizer was served, seemingly half the room converged on Beck and his wife, Tania, tying up the traffic flow in the center of the ballroom and rendering the area impassable. A succession of ZOA officials implored the crowd to sit down so servers could get dinner on the table, but with little effect.

Grabbing the microphone, ZOA President Morton Klein, raised his voice — the first of several times he would do that over the course of the evening — and commanded those standing around to “sit down — NOW!”

“Glenn Beck got in touch with me, thanked me for writing this because no one else in the organized Jewish world was defending him, and he asked if we could get together,” Klein told JTA. “We got together, I asked him if he’d be our honoree, he began to almost cry. Tears welled up in his eyes.”

Asked about the discomfort some feel with Beck’s repeated use of Holocaust analogies, Klein, a child of survivors who was born in a German displaced persons camp, claimed ignorance, saying he didn’t watch Beck’s show often enough to have an opinion.

“I just don’t know,” he said.

That Beck, an unabashed crier, became misty at Klein’s offer is eminently believable. Beck appeared to choke back tears at least four times during his hourlong speech — and that was during his less emotional moments.

When he wasn’t battling the urge to cry, he was issuing a battle cry. With arms flailing wildly and face turning the color of the red caviar served in the VIP room, Beck portrayed the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people in apocalyptic terms — as the ultimate showdown between good and evil. Beck was the only speaker at the dinner whose voice reached a pitch more feverish than Klein’s.

Beck said he came to the ZOA as a brother. “It’s personal,” he said repeatedly.
And clearly he has not been chastened by the urgings of some Jewish groups to tread lightly with the Holocaust analogies. Again and again he invoked them, saying the world stood on a precipice like the one it faced in 1939 — only this time it’s worse, as not only is the world ignoring rising evil, he said, it is actively helping it along.

“America is not a collective,” Beck thundered. “America is built on the individual. I am a man and I demand to be counted so others are not numbered again.”
The crowd went wild.

And here’s that horrid, racist little man Morton Klein on the two state solution (2007):

Friday, November 18, 2011

Remi Kanazi - ‘This poem will not end Apartheid’

(H/T JsF)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quote of the day: Yael Dayan

Yael Dayan, daughter of the famous Moshe:

If I gave every Israeli Jew an atom bomb to keep beside their bed, they would still feel threatened.

Translated from Dutch, from: ‘In Lood Gegoten. Israel en de tragedie van de Joodse staat’, by Sus van Elzen, ISBN 987 90 8542 305 8, p. 178

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meanwhile in ‘the only democracy in the ME’

From PNN, via Mondoweiss:

PNN 9 Nov -- Fifteen of the activists from the Freedom Waves to Gaza flotilla came before an Israeli court on Tuesday, and were advised they could be held for up to 2 months without charges or a trial. One Australian, one British, two Canadians, and 14 Irish activists remain imprisoned by Israel after five days. In order to avoid further incarceration, the judge told the detainees they could sign a statement declaring that they entered Israel voluntarily and illegally. Some of the Freedom Waves to Gaza participants have already been deported at their own expense.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Victoria Nuland: annoying twit of the year…

When it comes to deeply annoying (embarrassing would be the word if I were American, heaven forbid!) public persons, spokes people for the White House/State Department/insert whatever, politicians and the like, look no further that to t’other Social Experiment, the good ole’ US of A, for a panoply of muppets that almost make the Iranian regime look like sane folk. And the sooner they ditch one, another pops up like a devil in a box. The latest one to pollute the screens of our boxes is Victoria Nuland, here she is on the Meircan’s decision to withhold funds from Unesco, this on the grounds that that truly perfidious organisation has granted membership to Palestine by overwhelming majority:

Watch it on YouTube.

Kudos to that journalist though. Where were the others?

Writes Gabriel at JsF:

I have a question. What kind of personality it takes to stand there and repeat that horse manure? Who applies for these jobs and who accepts them? Is there a test you have to pass to get this job? Something like finding a kid with a puppy in the park and strangling the puppy?

According to Wiki she “has twice been a visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1999 to 2000, she looked at the effect of Anti-Americanism on U.S. relations with other major world powers”… Did you factor yourself into that equation, Victoria? Cos’ for anti-Americans you’re the gift that keeps on giving!