Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine

Thanks to a tipster, Phil Weiss (Mondoweiss) has an imaginary map "showing the fragmentation of the West Bank under Israeli occupation - an archipelago of disconnected islands". Go look see...

Which reminds me of an old anti-Zionist joke.

A not too political Arab and a Jewish anti-Zionist share a couple of drinks in a bar.

Arab: so tell me, what's the Israeli flag all about?

AZ Jew: well, you know about the Star of David, don't you?

Arab: yeah, but what about the blue lines?

AZ Jew: well, the line at the bottom symbolises the Jordan river, you with me on that?

Arab: sure, but what about the top line?

AZ Jew: depends on the Zionist interpretation: could be the Mediterranean Sea, could be the Suez Canal or could be the Litani river!

Jackie Mason on Sharon and the West Bank:

"Did you hear? Ariel Sharon is a man of peace. You don't believe me? He's a man of peace, I tell you. He's promised to give the whole of the West Bank back. All of it. Completely. Just not right now because its all in his wife's name!"

Jackie mason on performing in Egypt and the West Bank:

"I performed in Egypt the other week. Exact same show, same jokes. Dead silence. Anyway, Arafat proposed I perform in the West Bank. For $ 1 million. 1 million dollars!!!... Plus funeral expenses!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Anti-Semitism on decline since Israel wiped off map

Big H/T to Jews sans Frontieres

Here's my favourite article from a very convincing mock up of the Financial Times dated April 1, 2020:

Anti-Semitism on decline since Israel wiped off map

Anti-Semitic behaviour has dropped off sharply since the new state of Kanaan came into being on 14 May 2018, according to a United Nations study.

The world’s newest independent country, Kanaan incorporates all of the territory formerly known as Israel, as well as the territories that Israel illegally occupied.

Although many feared a Middle Eastern Holocaust after the disuniting of the American states, and despite threats of terrorism by the Provisional Stern Gang and the Ariel Sharon Memorial League, the transition of the highly militarised Jewish state into a modern secular democracy has been remarkably smooth.

Pockets of prejudice persist, the study found, but their influence on popular opinion is now marginal.

Formal recognition of the right of return of all Palestinians forced into exile, and of Jerusalem’s status as an international city, have together had “a significant positive impact” on the incidence of anti-Jewish feeling around the world, the UN researchers say.

Kanaan’s new government stoked controversy last year when it admitted to possession of an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Successive Israeli administrations had refused to confirm or deny the weapons’ existence, in the interests of maintaining regional stability.

In a wide-ranging series of proclamations, Kanaan also condemned suicide bombings, and issued a formal acknowledgement of the “many crimes and injustices” which took place during Israel’s birth.

It also caused indignation in parts of North America by stating that occurrences recounted in scripture “are not considered an appropriate foundation for national policy in the present day”.

And here's the home page for the Financial Times 2020 website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Focus on Gaza: White Phosphorus, White Flag Deaths, House Demolitions

Saturday, March 28, 2009

US Foreign Policy Budget

Huffington Post

Sabotaging a Palestinian Unity Government

As European governments and others, recognizing that some kind of government of national unity between Fatah and the more moderate elements of Hamas is necessary for the peace process to move forward, Pelosi and her colleagues are attempting to sabotage such efforts. This year's appropriations bill prohibits any support for "any power-sharing government" in Palestine "of which Hamas is a member," unless Hamas unilaterally agrees to "recognize Israel, renounce violence, disarm, and accept prior agreements, including the Roadmap."

By contrast, there are no such provisions restricting the billions of dollars of aid to the emerging coalition government in Israel, which includes far right parties that have likewise refused to recognize Palestine, renounce violence, support the disarming of allied settler militias, or accept prior agreements, including the roadmap.

In short, to Pelosi and other Democratic congressional leaders, Palestinians simply do not have equal rights to Israelis in terms of statehood, security, or international obligations. The Democrats are willing to sabotage any Palestinian government that dares include — even as a minority in a broad coalition — any hard-line anti-Israeli party, yet they have no problems whatsoever in pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into supporting an Israeli government dominated by hard-line anti-Palestinian parties.

There's a word for such double-standards: racism.

Other Anti-Palestinian Provisions

Migration and refugee assistance are other areas where the anti-Palestinian bias of Pelosi and other Democratic leaders becomes apparent. There are dozens of countries in which the United Nations, assisted in part through U.S. aid, is involved in relief operations, including those dealing with Rwandans, Kurds, Congolese, Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, and other refugee populations from which terrorist groups operate or have operated in the recent past. However, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership have determined that it's among Palestinian refugees alone that the State Department is required to work with the UN and host governments "to develop a strategy for identifying individuals known to have engaged in terrorist activities."

Pelosi's bill stipulates that not less than $30 million in funds for migration and refugee assistance should be made available for refugee resettlement in Israel. None of the other 192 recognized states in the world are specifically earmarked to receive this kind of funding, which is normally made available on assessment of humanitarian need. In recent years, successive Israeli governments have encouraged immigrants to live in subsidized Jewish-only settlements, illegally constructed on confiscated land in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights, in violation of a series of UN Security Council resolutions and a landmark advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. The inclusion of this funding is widely interpreted as an effort by Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers to encourage further Israeli colonization in occupied Palestinian and Syrian territory so as to decrease the likelihood of a peace settlement.

Only $75 million in aid is allocated to the West Bank and none of it is allocated to the Palestinian Authority itself. In contrast, annual U.S. economic assistance to Israel (which doesn't include the billions in military aid) goes directly to the Israeli government and has usually totaled more than 15 times that amount, even though the per-capita income of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is less than one-twentieth that of Israeli Jews.

Pelosi's bill contains lengthy and detailed conditions and restrictions on programs in the West Bank, with extensive vetting, reporting, and auditing requirements required for no other place in the world. This year's bill adds requirements that all funds are subjected to the regular notification procedures, also an unprecedented requirement. There are also a number of other stipulations not found for any other nations, such as the provision banning any assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.

Despite all the additional administrative costs such restrictions require, the bill caps administrative expenses at $2 million; no such limitations exist involving aid to any other nation.

The Democrats' goal appears to be to make it all the more difficult for Palestinians — already suffering under U.S.-backed Israeli sieges — to meet even their most basic needs for health care, education, housing, and economic development.

Roadblocks for Palestinian Statehood

Though the United States remains the world's number one military, economic, and diplomatic supporter of repressive Middle Eastern governments — including absolute monarchies, military juntas, and occupation armies — the appropriations bill includes language insisting that the "governing entity" of Palestine "should enact a constitution assuring the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and respect for human rights for its citizens, and should enact other laws and regulations assuring transparent and accountable governance." No such language exists in regard to any other nation.

There are also provisions blocking U.S. support for a Palestinian state unless it meets a long list of criteria regarding perceived Israeli security needs. Again, no such conditions exist for any other nation in terms of its right to exist.

One target of Pelosi and other Democratic leaders is the Palestinians' desire to regain the Arab-populated sections of East Jerusalem, which have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. In addition to its religious significance for both Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Muslims, Jerusalem has long been the most important cultural, commercial, political, and educational center for Palestinians and has the largest Palestinian population of any city in the world. Given the city's significance to both populations, any sustainable peace agreement would need to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city for both Israel and Palestine.

In an apparent effort to delegitimize any Palestinian claims to their occupied capital, however, Pelosi's bill prohibits any "meetings between officers and employees of the United States and officials of the Palestinian Authority, or any successor Palestinian governing entity" in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem "for the purpose of conducting official United States Government business with such authority." Even if the Israelis do agree to end their occupation of Arab East Jerusalem, Pelosi and the Democrats have inserted language that no funds could be used to create any new U.S. government offices in Jerusalem that would interact with the Palestinian Authority or any successor Palestinian government entity.

George Galloway speaking at Columbia Business School on the One State Solution

March 23. Part of his US 'Siegebuster' tour I believe. Galloway's clear and brilliant delivery on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Watch. Listen. Learn. Funny too, in parts.

Two State Solution: Last Chance Saloon?

Interesting post here by Jewbonics (minor edits and some emphasis by me):

Left-wing opinion on whether or not a two-state solution is still feasible bifurcates into two camps. One says Yes. The other says No. Norman Finkelstein, for example, argues that the rational strategy is,

OK, not to try to defy the international community with your own or someone else’s more radical slogans, but rather to bring to bare the weight of international public opinion: bring to bare the weight of the United Nations resolutions, the world court — the International Court of Justice — decision and so on and so forth in trying to resolve the conflict. For some of you in this room, and maybe for the majority of you in this room, that’s not going to be a satisfying answer. You’re going to tell me you want to go out and advocate a one state solution, or you want to go out and advocate a democratic secular or whatever Palestine. And my answer is going to be to you, in my opinion, that’s a dead-end strategy. It may be very satisfying for you in your little group; it may be satisfying for you in your living room, and maybe satisfying for you in your little club or grouplet. But if you’re seriously committed — as I assume was my mandate from Sumayyah — if you’re seriously committed to trying to lessen the suffering of the Palestinian people, to bring a little bit of sunshine into an otherwise very gray life of forty years and more, then that’s not in my view the strategy. Because there’s exactly zero support in the international community for a one state, democratic state, of whatever you want to call Palestine. On the other hand, there’s a huge amount of international support for a two-state settlement, and it’s that which we have to bring to the attention of People.

Ali Abunimah, founder of the invaluable ezine, Electronic Intifada, suggests that a two-state solution is impossible, that its advocates are ignoring the “facts on the ground,” in the lingo of Zionist apparatchiks, build up over the past 40 years–a network of entrenched settlements, segmenting the West Bank into dribs and drabs of land, territorially separated, economically unviable. This much is well-known.

Here’s the news: the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP), whose president is Henry Siegman, just released a report, entitled, “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement.” The Executive Summary observes that “In short, the next six to twelve months may well represent the last chance for a fair, viable and lasting solution.” What is the USMEP? Hardly a radical institution. It spun off from the Council on Foreign Relations, establishmentarian think-tank par excellence. The authors of the report, most of the project’s Senior Advisors and board members, include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, Lee H. Hamilton, Carla Hills, Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, Thomas R. Pickering, Brent Scowcroft,Theodore C. Sorensen, Paul A. Volcker, and James D. Wolfensohn. These are not–and this is neither insult nor encomium–the Nasrallahs or the Noam Chomskys of the world. They are the most conservative, placid, status quoarians one could hope to find. This gives the report greatly added heft. Will it be enough? We shall see.

It does not couch its recommendations in such idealist naivete like concerns regarding “social justice” or national self-determination. It speaks directly to security issues, noting that

“Although a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would not erase Al Qaeda, it would help drain the swamp in which it and other violent and terrorist movements thrive, and eliminate a major source of global Muslim anti-Americanism,”
seven years ago a radical argument, today, conservative wisdom.

It fends off the argument of political infeasibility, or the lack of sufficient political will, noting that “According to polls, most Israeli and Palestinian public opinions back a fair settlement, and Arab countries now offer unprecedented support for the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002,” suggesting that the problem is turning inchoate opinion into political action.

And it presents the brief for acting with dispatch:

“Failure to act would prove extremely costly. It would not only undermine current efforts to weaken extremist groups, bolster our moderate allies and rally regional support to stabilize Iraq and contain Iran, but would also risk permanent loss of the two-state solution as settlements expand and become entrenched and extremists on both sides consolidate their hold.”
The report’s authors recognize that if the two state settlement is not emplaced now, it will be emplaced never.

It does not kowtow to the “Israel Lobby,” nor to Zionist sentiment that demands complete Palestinian capitulation, noting that the plan, which must be “fair, viable, and sustainable,” must also be based on UNSCR 242 and 338, the principles agreed to in the 2003 Road Map and the 2007 Annapolis proceedings, and must demand a return to the Green Lines, land swaps on a 1:1 basis, a fair resolution to the refugee problem (although it explicitly prohibits a “general right of return”), dual-and-divided sovereignty over Jerusalem, and a de-militarized Palestinian state.

It suggests Israeli engagement with Syria, as well as accepting Hamas as a legitimate interlocutor of Palestinian political will, moving away from punitive boycotts or sanctions. As the report puts it, Israel and the US must take “a more pragmatic approach toward Hamas,” although it does call for a “government that agrees to a ceasefire with Israel [and] accepts President Mahmoud Abbas as the chief negotiator.” It is not clear if the Palestinian citizenry, sick of the quisling Fatah’s betrayals, will accept such a condition, although this does not detract from the point that coming from US power circles, this is a very welcome document. And there is some evidence that it will: as Roger Cohen noted in the NYT yesterday, Siegman told him, through oral and written media, that although Hamas would withhold recognition of Israel, “it would remain in a Palestinian national unity government that reached a referendum-endorsed peace settlement with Israel. De facto, rather than de jure, recognition can be a basis for a constructive relationship, as Israel knows from the mutual benefits of its shah-era dealings with Iran.”

Its suggestion for dealing with the refugee problem are welcome, if imperfect:

For Israelis the “right of return” issue is the ultimate “third rail.” For Palestinians, the entitlement of four million refugees to justice and dignity is an absolute. A formula must be found to protect Israel from an influx of refugees, assist Palestine to absorb as many refugees as possible, and offer Palestinian refugees options for productive and dignified lives in Palestine or elsewhere, closing refugee camps wherever they exist.

The document also outlines fairly reasonable solutions to the issues of borders, water, peace with Syria, and security, recommending extensive use of the United Nations as a peacekeeping force in the region. One really hopes Obama is listening.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another US media crack? ABC on possible Israeli war crimes...

Charles Gibson on ABC mentions the debate on possible war crimes committed by the Israeli army (Video). A bit of a first, methinks. Features a member of the Breaking the Silence group. I hope their website gets lots of hits from it...

Please tell me, where is Israel headed?

By John J. Mearsheimer

Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final stages of putting together Israel's next government, which will be opposed to a two-state solution. Most importantly, the new prime minister and his Likud Party are firmly against a Palestinian state. The Labor Party, which will be part of the governing coalition and which has been identified with the two-state solution for the past two decades, did not insist that Likud support that policy as a condition for joining the government. Its leader, Ehud Barak, merely asked for and got a vague statement saying that Israel was committed to promoting regional peace. Avigdor Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beiteinu, the other major party in the ruling coalition, is not likely to push to give the Palestinians a viable state of their own. His main concern is "transferring" the Palestinians out of Israel so that it can be an almost purely Jewish state.

So Israel will continue expanding its settlements in the West Bank. In fact, the Israeli press is reporting that Netanyahu and Lieberman agreed in their negotiations to form a government that Israel would build 3,000 housing units in an area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim (a huge settlement bloc) known as E-1. Once that is accomplished, Israel will have effectively cut the West BankUnited States is opposed to Israel in half, making it almost impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. This deal was supposed to be secret, because the building in the E-1 area.

The Palestinians, of course, will remain locked up in Gaza and a handful of enclaves on the West Bank. In essence, Netanyahu and his two key ministers -- Ehud Barak (Defense) and Avigdor Lieberman (Foreign Affairs) -- are committed to creating a Greater Israel, which will cover all of the territory that was once Mandate Palestine.

The Obama administration will surely try to push Netanyahu to change his thinking about a two-state solution and work to give the Palestinians a real state of their own. The Israel lobby, however, will adamantly defend Israel's right to do whatever it wants in the Occupied Territories and make it impossible for the president to put significant pressure on Israel. Netanyahu, like all Israeli leaders, understands this basic fact of life. He knows that he will just have to say a few nice words about the "peace process" and blame the whole thing on the Palestinians, who he believes are a bunch of terrorists anyway, and he will be pretty much free to do whatever he wants in Gaza and the West Bank.

It seems clear to me and to many smart people I know that this story does not have a happy ending. Indeed, it looks like a disastrous ending. Greater Israel cannot be a democratic state, because there will soon be, if there aren't already, more Palestinians between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea than there are Israeli Jews. So, if you give each person one vote, Israel becomes Palestine. That is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, which leaves two possible outcomes: apartheid and expelling the Palestinians -- and there are more than 5 million of them -- from Greater Israel. Talk about repulsive options. It is worth remembering that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that if there is no two-state solution, Israel will end up in a South Africa-like situation and that will mean the end of the Jewish state. In effect, he is saying that Israel is turning itself into an apartheid state.

My bottom line is that Israel, with the backing of the lobby, is pursuing a remarkably foolish -- Ehud Olmert would say suicidal -- policy towards the Palestinians.

I would appreciate it greatly if Israel's American backers would explain what I am missing here. They must think that there is a happy ending to this story that Olmert and I simply fail to see. Otherwise they would not be backing the Greater Israel enterprise. There is no need for Christian Zionists to respond, because I know what their happy ending is: the Battle of Armageddon and then the Second Coming of Christ. Israel's Jewish backers do not buy this story, which, in fact, many consider anti-Semitic. But they must have an alternative explanation for how Greater Israel is good for the Jews. What is it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Galloway Banned from Canada but on Canadian Telly

Here he is, in fine form on CBC:

Netanyahu, Lieberman 'struck secret deal for West Bank construction'

Why Netanyahu/Lieberman/Obama should be a clash waiting to happen...


For a map of E1 and some commentary, click here.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman for highly contentious construction on West Bank land known as E1, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

A source close to the negotiations between the pair told Army Radio that the plan had been agreed upon even though it did not appear in the official document detailing the coalition deal between Yisrael Beiteinu and Netanyahu's Likud.

The plan is for the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim to build 3000 new housing units on the territory, which stretches between it and Jerusalem, the source was quoted as saying.

Construction in the area is particularly sensitive because it would create contiguity between the settlement and the capital, which in turn would prevent Palestinian construction between East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

This would also make it difficult to reach agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the question of permanent borders.

For this reason, the United States has strongly opposed this sort of Israeli construction for more than a decade. Israeli governments have avoided construction in this area, mostly because of U.S. pressure.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Israeli "Intelligence Chief" shows lack of Intelligence

Snippets from Ha'aretz.

Do they pay these 'Intelligence Chiefs'? If so, for doing what? Reshuffling old bits of paper on their desks? The odd attempt at scaremongering, using old and generic 'data'?

MI chief: Iran has crossed nuclear bomb threshold

Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told lawmakers on Wednesday that Iran has "crossed the technological threshold" for making a nuclear bomb.

Yawn. Just how many times have they "crossed the technological threshold" by now?

He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Islamic Republic has developed surface-to-surface missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Yep, you can stick nukes on missiles. That's the general idea.

Yadlin said achieving a military nuclear capacity "was mainly dependent on a political decision by Iran."
I'm lost for words...

According to Yadlin, the bottleneck in Iran's nuclear weapons program was in obtaining fissionable material.

Breakthrough: Israeli MI chief realises nuclear bombs require fissionable material!

He said the Islamic Republic's strategy is not merely to produce one bomb, which could force them into a conflict with the world, but to enrich a large amount of fissionable material at a low level of 4.5 percent. But Iran claims that it needs to do this for civilian purposes only, Yadlin said.

This is just garbled quatch. You need at least 80 - 90 % U-235 enrichment (so called Highly Enriched Uranium - HEU) for a bomb. 4.5 % U-235 (Lowly EU) is typical of civilian nuclear fuel and can only be converted into bomb cores by means of further enrichment to HEU.

The Iranians enrich between one and two kilos of low grade uranium, Yadlin said. However, once they decide to bring that to weapon's grade enrichment levels (93%) they could produce the amount needed for a bomb within several months to a year.

Crap. Reports show that Iran may possess up to a 1,000 kg of LEU (some of it Russian) and thus enough U-235 for one bomb. But not without the tedious process of centrifuge enrichment.

Yadlin is another Emperor with no clothes on.

An Army of Extremists

How some military rabbis are trying to radicalize Israeli soldiers.

Hitchens has been remarkably silent about Gaza and other I/P developments but in the this Slate article he speaks out one just one aspect. The article is well worth reading in its entirety, here I cut to Hitchen's chase:
Peering over the horrible pile of Palestinian civilian casualties that has immediately resulted, it's fairly easy to see where this is going in the medium-to-longer term. The zealot settlers and their clerical accomplices are establishing an army within the army so that one day, if it is ever decided to disband or evacuate the colonial settlements, there will be enough officers and soldiers, stiffened by enough rabbis and enough extremist sermons, to refuse to obey the order. Torah verses will also be found that make it permissible to murder secular Jews as well as Arabs. The dress rehearsals for this have already taken place, with the religious excuses given for Baruch Goldstein's rampage and the Talmudic evasions concerning the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Once considered highly extreme, such biblical exegeses are moving ever closer to the mainstream. It's high time the United States cut off any financial support for Israel that can be used even indirectly for settler activity, not just because such colonization constitutes a theft of another people's land but also because our Constitution absolutely forbids us to spend public money on the establishment of any religion.

Dark Heart finds Dark Matter: Barakula lines up with Netanscescu

The Guardian
Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's next prime minister, was last night on the verge of forming a majority coalition after the Labour party agreed a last-minute deal to join his incoming government.

The vote came after an all-night negotiations between Ehud Barak's Labour and Netanyahu's Likud. Although as many as seven of Labour's 13 elected MPs opposed the move, the party's 1,400-strong central committee followed Barak's lead and voted to join the government.

The decision gives Netanyahu the comfort of a government with a broader base. He will lead a coalition drawn from across the political spectrum which embraces in an unlikely partnership with Avigdor Lieberman, an outspoken far-right politician, and Barak, head of the traditionally left of centre and social welfare-oriented party.

This could be an inte[cough!]resting government to watch...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zionofascism on the March

Deputy police chief, Meretz MK injured in rightists' march

Some 100 activists, headed by National Union MK Ben-Ari, arrive in northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm to 'demand loyalty'. Residents, left-wing activists greet them with curses, shoes. Some 2,500 police officers deployed in area, using tear gas and shock grenades against protestors; 16 people hurt

Sharon Roffe-Ofir - Ynetnews.

Fear of violent clashes in rightists' march realized: Deputy Police Commissioner Shahar Ayalon was lightly injured Tuesday morning by stones hurled during a right-wing activists' march in the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. Another senior officer and a policeman were also lightly wounded.

Knesset Member Ilan Ghilon (Meretz), who was also present in the area, was hurt by tear gas fired by the police. In total, 16 people were injured in Tuesday morning's events, all of them sustaining light wounds.

Hundreds of police officers deployed Tuesday morning in the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm and its surroundings, as well as on the Wadi Ara road, as right-wing activists held a protest march in the city.

The rightists were greeted by the city's residents and several left-wing activists, who threw stones at the marchers. Residents standing on rooftops waved shoes and cursed the marching activists.

The police used tear gas and shock grenades against the protestors on both sides in a bid to prevent an escalation. The parade ended about half an hour later, and its participants returned to their buses.

Read on...

Alext Stein offers a bit of inside perspective... Well worth reading.

Guardian investigation of Gaza War Crimes

Watch the three videos here. Seems to me we're fast moving past the stage of 'allegations'.

I'm not going to spend much more time on this: charges are very unlikely to follow any serious investigation because court proceedings have historically been reserved for the losers, not the victors.

In the mean time the behaviour of 'the most moral army in the world' will continue to raise eyebrows and more besides that. Good. The morally bankrupt regime known as 'Zionism' needs to be exposed for what it is.

Related and very poignant: Amira Hass in Ha'aretz: Time to believe Gaza war crimes allegations. Read. Be amazed. Go on, I dare you...

Not another 60 years of Occupation.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Tristan Anderson still 'critical'

B'Tselem: Tear gas canisters as weapons

On 13 March, a Border Police officer fired an extended-range type tear-gas canister that struck Tristan Anderson, an American citizen, during a demonstration in Ni’lin. B'Tselem’s investigation reveals that the police officer fired the canister directly at Anderson from 60 meters away, even though Anderson had not thrown stones and had not endangered the police officers. The grenade struck him in the forehead, fracturing his skull and injuring the front lobe of his brain. It is still too early to determine the extent of the damage.

Particularly instructive are the two B'Tselem video segments. These cannot be embedded, so you need to take a close look, here.

George Galloway banned from Canada: Canadian JDL wades in

Big H/T: This is just to say blog.

A British MP and outspoken anti-war activist, George Galloway has been refused entry to Canada by our wonderful Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Galloway responded by stating that “That’s the way the right-wing, last-ditch dead-enders of Bushism in Ottawa conduct their business,” describing Jason Kenney as a “gay-baiter, gung-ho armchair warrior, with an odd habit of exceeding his immigration brief.”


It would appear that this Galloway-ban was set in motion by the Canadian Jewish Defence League. Watch the ensuing debate between a JDL Leader Meir Weinstein and Galloway:

Weinstein recently raised a few eyebrows by joining a Facebook group "Death to Arabs." Nice.

The Kenney rep on the phone you heard there was Alykhan Velshi, who appears to dive head-first into the Manichean "you're-either-with-us-or-against-us" of George W. Bush (and I found it on the website of the National Review! Holy William-F-Buckley, Batman!). Just in case Velshi ever reads this: I think you're a tad odious, yourself.

A few fascinating points about this interview:

- It takes Weinstein less than 2 minutes to bring up Hitler, Nazis and the death of 6 million Jews, making a strong case for Godwin's Law.

- Weinstein's depiction of Hamas as fanatical, hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, etc etc, is grossly incorrect, given the fact that Hamas has publicly statedrecognize Israel along 1967 borders. that it would

- Weistein's rationale for banning Galloway: Canada says Hamas is a terrorist organization, therefore Galloway giving aid to Hamas makes him a threat to national security. Canadian NGOs have given aid to Hamas- yet for some reason they aren't threats to national security. Hmmm... all this relies on the Canadian government's assessment of Hamas being accurate, which would also assume that our government is not staffed by ignorant dolts.

- Check out Weinstein depicting anti-war church groups as targets with "links to terror groups" and randomly imply that they are Iranian proxies! Funnily enough, the JDL has its own ties to terror, and Weinstein was a spokesperson for Kach in 1994, which is considered a terrorist organization by Canada.

Last but not least, some facts to sum things up:

George W. Bush, responsible for anywhere from 99,000 to a million Iraqi deaths:

Welcomed into Canada.

George Galloway, whose activist work aims to prevent war around the world:

Denied entry into Canada.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The world is starting to turn one way but Israel turns in the opposite direction


The Israeli authorities have prevented all events associated with al-Quds Arab Culture Capital 2009 celebration from occurring in what they consider to be Israeli sovereign territory. The harsh suppression of the cultural expression of Palestinians of which this action is indicative, reflects the very grim reality of the Israeli relationship to the Palestinian people, especially those with whom they live in close proximity. The Arab Culture Capital festival, which is celebrated in a different Arab city each year, hosts artists, officials and tourists from all over the Arabic-speaking world. The Israeli refusal to allow these cultural events to take place in Jerusalem and within Israel's borders sends a blunt and clear message, not only to Palestinians, but to all Arabs. The message is: We do not intend to acknowledge your rights or your presence here, ever.

Worried about apartheid? Too late, Mr Olmert, it’s already here

Tony Karon in The National

In one of her last acts as US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice had Nelson Mandela’s name removed from America’s terrorist watch list. Many Americans were shocked to learn that their favourite former political prisoner had ever been deemed a terrorist. That is because they had forgotten, or were too young to know, that the US under Ronald Reagan – like Britain under Margaret Thatcher – had backed the apartheid regime in South Africa as a Cold War ally.

Isolating South Africa through sanctions and boycotts was certainly not the choice of Mrs Thatcher or Mr Reagan, but their governments were eventually forced to take action by the outrage of their own electorates at the suffering apartheid inflicted. The international anti-apartheid movement began at the grassroots among religious, community and labour groups, but it grew sufficiently powerful to force governments to distance themselves from a regime that they had viewed sympathetically. And that is a lesson that terrifies Israel’s leaders.

Israeli government officials have spoken openly since the Gaza conflict of their growing sense of isolation. Despite their most strenuous PR efforts, the 1,417 Palestinian deaths they caused in Gaza (compared with 13 Israelis, four by “friendly fire”) made it hard to sell the idea that Israel was the victim in the conflict. Israel’s narrative did not fit the images of the Gaza clash. It’s hard to convince people that the guys with the F-16s and Apache helicopters and the tanks are little David, while those facing them with side-arms, mortars and a handful of improvised unguided missiles are actually Goliath.

Coddled in their own narrative in which they are the eternal victims, Israelis are not accustomed to finding themselves the focus of international moral opprobrium. And they see in it a mortal threat.

The recent Gaza donor conference at Sharm el Sheikh was a familiar exercise of nations pledging large amounts of money while respecting taboos imposed by Israel that effectively block reconstruction. That was in marked contrast to the aid convoy led by the maverick British MP George Galloway that arrived in Gaza two weeks ago, comprising some 100 trucks and ambulances loaded with medical and humanitarian supplies funded and collected at grassroots level in churches, mosques, trade union branches and community groups all over Britain.

Sure, the amount of aid delivered was small potatoes relative to the need, but the gesture showed that hundreds of thousands of ordinary Britons no longer accept their government’s equivocation on the fate of the Palestinians. That is exactly how the international anti-apartheid movement was born, back when the governments of the US and Britain were happy to concur with Pretoria that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.

In a remarkable interview last November, the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert cautioned that unless it could achieve a two-state solution quickly, Israel would “face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, and as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished”. The reason, he said, was that Israel would be internationally isolated. “The Jewish organisations, which are our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents.”

Jewish communities in western countries have long been Israel’s trump card against international pressure, because they mobilise support for Israel and restrain critics by painting opposition to Israel’s policies as motivated by hostility to Jews – a toxic accusation in a world still sensitive to the horrors of the Holocaust. But what was palpable during the Gaza conflict was the diminished enthusiasm of young Jewish people abroad for Israeli militarism, and the increasing willingness of many to openly challenge Israel.

This change is personified by Jon Stewart, the Jewish-American comic whose Daily Show is the premier vehicle of contemporary American political satire. Stewart mercilessly mocked American politicians for their slavish echoing of the Israeli narrative during the Gaza conflict. “It’s the Möbius strip of issues,” he sarcastically enthused. “There’s only one side!” Clearly, the younger, hipper Jewish liberal mainstream exemplified by Stewart intends to judge Israel on the basis of its actions, rather than express morally blind ethnic solidarity.

Even as Israeli officials admitted last week that they were hoping to “rebrand” Israel’s image abroad, the Israeli media were reporting that six Israeli soldiers who had fought in Gaza were alleging that men in their units had indiscriminately killed Palestinian civilians because of what they said were permissive rules of engagement. There is only so much that “rebranding” can achieve when it is the product, rather than its packaging, that is at the root of the problem.

And that is where the apartheid warning used by Mr Olmert and other Israeli advocates of a two-state solution becomes an unintended confession. It is not some demographic milestone that will tip Israel into the realm of apartheid, because apartheid is a qualitative rather than a quantitative term: it refers to a situation in which a whole category of people were denied the rights of citizenship in the state that ruled over them. South Africa’s apartheid would have been no more acceptable to the world had black people comprised 45 per cent of the population rather than 80 per cent. And since 1967, the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza have been living under the control of a state that denies them citizenship.

What Mr Olmert and others are really saying, without realising it, is that Israel is already in an apartheid situation – and that if it doesn’t end that situation soon, the world will notice and begin to respond accordingly.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Child Abuse

By Bernard Avishai

The Israeli press is full of stories, now broadcast around the world, of Israeli soldiers acting ruthlessly in Gaza. In various reported cases, soldiers revealed a cavalier attitude toward the lives of civilians, including women and children; consistently, they used overwhelming force--artillery against rifles in built up neighborhoods, say--to protect the lives of fellow soldiers. We are now hearing, in addition, knowing comments about the rules of engagement and the ethics of war. According to one scholar who helped write the IDF's code of conduct, a soldier has to "do his utmost" to avoid civilian casualties and that involves taking some risk. "From the testimonies of these soldiers, it sounds like they didn't practice this norm.”

Let me get this straight. We take tens of thousands of 18 and 19-year-olds, young people who are little more than children themselves, and at a time of life when showing the utmost cool is a kind of sexual ante; a time when ideas about the world are largely received wisdoms; when bodies are at their utmost strength but so is the fear of death, which only reinforces the fear of displaying cowardice; when the people from whom wisdoms are received are parents or mentors loved to the utmost; when minds are just intimidated enough about life's scrum to feel utmost gratitude for family and commonwealth--when the desire to prove one's loyalty is at its most intense.

Then we take these youth--for God's sake, kids who can barely even remember the time of Rabin's assassination--and tell them that the Arabs, deep down, will never want a Jewish state in the neighborhood; that, in any case, the land is sacred, and giving ground is an utmost sin of Jewish law, as is showing mercy to those who would kill you; that "Oslo" offered Palestinians a deal with utmost generosity, but that they came back with terrorism nevertheless; that (though this much has been obvious) terrorism can come in any form, male and female, young and old; that protecting
our civilians from random cruelties is the reason they are there.

We tell them, moreover, that the civilians they are facing at least tolerated, or even encouraged, the terrorism they must now root out, which is why terrorists are allowed to blend in; that these Arabs are secretly all waiting and hoping for Iran, the new Amalek, to incinerate Tel-Aviv; that if the world had not flinched from hitting at Hitler in 1938, the utmost tragedy would have been prevented; that, anyway, the strategic goal is to reestablish deterrence, which means scaring the shit of Arabs, so that they will finally accept the fact that, as former chief of staff Moshe Yaalon put it, they are a "defeated" people; oh, and that our great friends in the Bush administration are about to leave office, so time is of the utmost importance, too.

Then, after our children have killed and killed for us, we turn around and tell them they did not take the utmost care in trying to save civilian lives; that "this involves taking some risk"--that if they were braver, more willing to risk their own or their buddies' deaths, they would not have violated the "norm" of combat--in effect, that if they were more worthy, they would not be war criminals.

Presumably, some European state prosecuter will now want to take our children to the world court. But I wonder: if the court had a social worker, would she not just be threatening to take them away?

Friday, March 20, 2009

UN envoy: Gaza op seems to be war crime of greatest magnitude

A United Nations human rights investigator said on Thursday that Israel's offensive against Hamas in densely populated Gaza appeared to constitute a war crime of the "greatest magnitude."

Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said the Geneva Conventions required warring forces to distinguish between military targets and surrounding civilians.

"If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attacks is inherently unlawful and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law," Falk said.

Read on.

It'll have the Israelis quacking in their boots no doubt. Israel must be the only country in the world that came into being via UN resolution and has since disregarded almost every UN resolution regarding itself.

IDF endorsed T-shirts: a mindset revealed

Apart the growing revelations by IDF soldiers on their army's behaviour in Gaza, there is now also Uri Blau's revealing Ha'aretz piece titled 'No virgins, no terror attacks', about images and slogans used on IDF endorse T-shirts relating to the Gaza war and the I-P conflict.

It's hardly unusual for adversaries in a violent conflict to resort to dehumanisation of the enemy, clearly dehumanising makes handling, oppressing, arresting and detaining, and ultimately killing the other side much easier. So it shouldn't really come as shock that members of the IDF resort to this. But it shocks nonetheless, in this case because of the blatant racist and sexist mindset of the designers and wearers of this kind of 'war-wear' exposes.

Big H/T: Mondoweiss.

Text found on a variety of IDF endorsed T-shirts:

  • A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription "Better use Durex," next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him.
  • A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, "1 shot, 2 kills."
  • After Operation Cast Lead, soldiers from that battalion printed a T-shirt depicting a vulture sexually penetrating Hamas' prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh
  • A "graduation" shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, "No matter how it begins, we'll put an end to it."
  • There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, "Bet you got raped!"
  • A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies - such as "confirming the kill" (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim's head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.
  • "Let every Arab mother know that her son's fate is in my hands!" had previously been banned for use on another infantry unit's shirt. A Givati soldier said this week, however, that at the end of last year, his platoon printed up dozens of shirts, fleece jackets and pants bearing this slogan.
  • "It has a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town," he explains. "The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him."
  • In 2006, soldiers from the "Carmon Team" course for elite-unit marksmen printed a shirt with a drawing of a knife-wielding Palestinian in the crosshairs of a gun sight, and the slogan, "You've got to run fast, run fast, run fast, before it's all over." Below is a drawing of Arab women weeping over a grave and the words: "And afterward they cry, and afterward they cry." [The inscriptions are riffs on a popular song.]
  • Another sniper's shirt also features an Arab man in the crosshairs, and the announcement, "Everything is with the best of intentions."
  • A shirt printed after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza for Battalion 890 of the Paratroops depicts a King Kong-like soldier in a city under attack. The slogan is unambiguous: "If you believe it can be fixed, then believe it can be destroyed!"

These shirts have to get the approval from IDF commanders and are a military tradition, although the explicit nature of these shirts seem new. Bar-Ilan University Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy is quoted as saying the shirts are "part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront." Israeli anti-militarism activist Sergeiy Sandler, who works for the important organization New Profile, emailed this article out saying the shirts are "a long-standing tradition in Israeli military units; you see those shirts, although usually with less outrageous designs, on the streets all over the place. A picture's worth a thousand words, isn't it?"

I don't imagine these types of shirts are unique to Israel. I bet there are similar ones created by US soldiers in Iraq. But the shirts do point to an environment where mass war crimes can be carried out. They reflect a mindset where Palestinian life is disdained, when it's even acknowledged. One of the soldiers says it best in their testimony describing the killing of a mother and her two children: "the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to ... I don't know how to describe it .... The lives of Palestinians, let's say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We want the land, not the people

From: warincontext.org.

Uzi Arad: “It is territory we want to preserve, but populations we want to rid ourselves of”

Here's Uzi Arad, the guy who banned from the US on security grounds, and advisor to Netanyahu, in an interview with the settler media network Arutz Sheva, on the Palestinians and their territory:
I don’t think that one has to go that far because at the end of the day, I don’t think the majority of Israelis want to see themselves responsible for the Palestinians. We do not want to control the Palestinian population. It’s unnecessary. What we do want is to care for our borders, for the Jewish settlements and for areas which are unpopulated and to have our security interests served well. But also to take under our responsibility these populations which, believe me, are not the most productive on earth, would become a burden. We want to relieve ourselves of the burden of the Palestinian populations - not territories. It is territory we want to preserve, but populations we want to rid ourselves of.

Here he is in the flesh (brace yourselves):

Of course, not that long ago, someone wanted to 'relieve [them]selves of the burden of the Jewish populations - not territories' too, but stop right there! That's NOT the SAME THING AT ALL: the Zionists are Chosen and Nazis were doomed.

Uzi is the kind of racist who'll dispute this allegation on the basis that: 'but it's TRUE, they [whoever] are NOT the most productive on earth!' Strangely enough, people like Uzi remain a strong anti-dote to anti-Semitism because their very existence proves that super-hawkish Zionists are human beings like a everyone else: flawed and capable of anything. The Nazis were human too.

If this guy is the wannabe-face of the 'Judeo-Christian' alliance, I think I'm gonna be sick...

Cindy and Craig Corrie on Gaza, Tristan Anderson and their daughter

From the Rachel Corrie Foundation - March 16, 2009.

We thank all who continue to remember Rachel and who, on this sixth anniversary of her stand in Gaza, renew their own commitments to human rights, justice and peace in the Middle East. The tributes and actions in her memory are a source of inspiration to us and to others.

Friday, March 13th, we learned of the tragic injury to American activist Tristan Anderson. Tristan was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister in Ni’lin Village in the West Bank when Israeli forces attacked a demonstration opposing the construction of the annexation wall through the village’s land. On the same day, a Ni’lin resident was, also, shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Four residents of Ni’lin have been killed in the past eight months as villagers and their supporters have courageously demonstrated against the Apartheid Wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice—a wall that will ultimately absorb one-quarter of the village’s remaining land. Those who have died are a ten-year-old child Ahmed Mousa, shot in the forehead with live ammunition on July 29, 2008; Yousef Amira (17) shot with rubber-coated steel bullets on July 30, 2008; Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) and Mohammed Khawaje (20), both shot and killed with live ammunition on December 8, 2008.

On this anniversary, Rachel would want us all to hold Tristan Anderson and his family and these Palestinians and their families in our thoughts and prayers, and we ask everyone to do so.

We are writing this message from Cairo where we returned after a visit to Gaza with the Code Pink Delegation from the United States. Fifty-eight women and men successfully passed through Rafah Crossing on Saturday, March 7th to challenge the border closures and siege and to celebrate International Women’s Day with the strong and courageous women of Gaza.

Rachel would be very happy that our spirited delegation made this journey. North to south throughout the Strip, we witnessed the sweeping destruction of neighborhoods, municipal buildings, police stations, mosques, and schools –casualties of the Israeli military assaults in December and January. When we asked about the personal impact of the attacks on those we met, we heard repeatedly of the loss of mothers, fathers, children, cousins, and friends. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports 1434 Palestinian dead and over 5000 injured, among them 288 children and 121 women.

We walked through the farming village of Khoza in the South where fifty homes were destroyed during the land invasion. A young boy scrambled through a hole in the rubble to show us the basement he and his family crouched in as a bulldozer crushed their house upon them. We heard of Rafiya who lead the frightened women and children of this neighborhood away from threatening Israeli military bulldozers, only to be struck down and killed by an Israeli soldier’s sniper fire as she walked in the street carrying her white flag.

Repeatedly, we were told by Palestinians, and by the internationals on the ground supporting them, that there is no ceasefire. Indeed, bomb blasts from the border area punctuated our conversations as we arrived and departed Gaza. On our last night, we sat by a fire in the moonlight in the remains of a friend’s farmyard and listened to him tell of how the Israeli military destroyed his home in 2004, and of how this second home was shattered on February 6th. This time, it was Israeli rockets from Apache helicopters that struck the house. A stand of wheat remained and rustled soothingly in the breeze as we talked, but our attention shifted quickly when F-16s streaked high across the night sky, and our friend explained that if the planes tipped to the side, they would strike. Everywhere, the psychological costs of the recent and ongoing attacks for all Gazans, but especially for the children, were sadly apparent.

It is not only those who suffer the greatest losses that carry the scars of all that has happened. It is those, too, who witnessed from their school bodies flying in the air when police cadets were bombed across the street and those who felt and heard the terrifying blasts of missiles falling near their own homes. It is the children who each day must walk past the unexplainable and inhumane destruction that has occurred.

In Rachel’s case, though a thorough, credible and transparent investigation was promised by the Israeli Government, after six years, the position of the U.S. Government remains that such an investigation has not taken place. In March 2008, Michele Bernier-Toff, Managing Director of the Office of Overseas Citizen Services at the Department of State wrote, “We have consistently requested that the Government of Israel conduct a full and transparent investigation into Rachel’s death. Our requests have gone unanswered or ignored.” Now, the attacks on all the people of Gaza and the recent one on Tristan Anderson in Ni’lin cry out for investigation and accountability. We call on President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and members of Congress to act with fortitude and courage to ensure that the atrocities that have occurred are addressed by the Israeli Government and through relevant international and U.S. law. We ask them to act immediately and persistently to stop the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli military, not to encourage it.

Despite the pain, we have once again felt privileged to enter briefly into the lives of Rachel’s Palestinian friends in Gaza. We are moved by their resilience and heartened by their song, dance, and laughter amidst the tears. Rachel wrote in 2003, “I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity–laughter, generosity, family time—against the incredible horror occurring in their lives…..I am also discovering a degree of strength and of the basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances…I think the word is dignity.” On this sixth anniversary of Rachel’s killing, we echo her sentiments.


Cindy and Craig Corrie
On behalf of our family

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In Memoriam Rachel Corrie

Please visit the Reachel Corrie Memorial Website.

“Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again - a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here.

“Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded...I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank. This happens every day, but just this father walking out with his two little kids just looking very sad, just happened to get my attention more at this particular moment... “When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.

“I love you and Dad...”

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to be a Zionist, win over friends and gain influence!

From this older spoof JSF post (self-help for the beginning Zionist apologist):

How to make the case for Israel and win

To the benefit of the many not-very-bright zionist wannabe apologists who read this blog assiduously, I decided to offer a clear and simple method of arguing the case for Israel. This clear and simple method has been distilled from a life spent listening to and reading Zionist propaganda. It is easy to follow and results are guaranteed or your money back.

So don't hesitate! Take advantage NOW of this revolutionary rhetorical system that will make YOU a great apologist for Israel in less time than it takes to shoot a Palestinian toddler in the eye.

Ready? 1..2..3..GO!

You need to understand just one principle:

The case for Israel is made of four propositions that should always be presented in the correct escalating order.

  1. We rock
  2. They suck
  3. You suck
  4. Everything sucks

That's it. Now you know everything that it took me a lifetime to learn. The rest is details; filling in the dotted lines.

You begin by saying how great Israel is. Israel want peace; Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East; the desert blooms; kibutz; Israelis invented antibiotics, the wheel, the E minor scale; thanks to the occupation Palestinians no longer live in caves; Israel liberates Arab women; Israel has the most moral army in the world, etc.

This will win over 50% of your listeners immediately. Don't worry about the factual content. This is about brand identity, not writing a PhD. Do you really think BP is 'beyond petroleum'?

Then you go into the second point: They suck. Here you talk about the legal system of Saudi Arabia, gay rights in Iran, slave trade in the Sudan, Mohammad Atta, the burqa, Palestinians dancing after 9/11, Arafat's facial hair, etc.

There is only one additional principle you need to understand here. It will separate you from the amateurs. You need to know your audience. If you've got a crowd already disposed to racist logic, go for it with everything you have. But if you get a liberal crowd, you need to sugar coat the racism a bit. Focus on women rights, human rights, religious tolerance, "clash of civilizations", terrorism, they teach their children to hate, etc. Deep down your audience WANTS to enjoy racism and feel superior. They just need the proper encouragement so they can keep their sophisticated self-image. Give them what they crave and they'll adore you! But be careful not to 'mix n match,' because it will cost you credibility.

When you're done, there will always be dead-enders insisting that abuse of gays in Iran does not justify ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Take a deep breath, and pull the doomsday weapon: You suck!

You're a Jew-hater, Arab-lover, anti-Semite, you're a pinko, a commie, a dreamer, a naive, a self-hater, you have issues, your mother worked for the Nazis, Prince Bandar buys you cookies, you forgot you were responsible for the holocaust, etc. The more the merrier. By the time you end this barrage, only a handful would be left standing. For mopping them up, you use the ultimate postmodern wisdom: Everything sucks.

War, genocide, racism, oppression are everywhere. From the Roma in Italy to the Native-Americans in the U.S., the weak are victimized. Why pick on Israel? It's the way of the world. Look! Right is only in question between equals in power; the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. Ethics, schmethics. Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Eat, drink! Carpe diem! The Palestinians would throw us into the sea if they could. Ha ha!

Trust me, that's as far as words can go. If you followed this method faithfully, you've done your work. You should leave the few who are still unconvinced to the forces of order.

You are now ready to
apologize for Israel like a pro.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I/P conflict: Stirrings in Holy Land II

The Freeman affair, questions about dual loyalties of deeply Zionist American Jews, the Lobby under fire, boy, it's all popping up everywhere. I'm imagining Jerkowitz running around like a headless chicken in the face of this barrage of anti-Zionist eruptions, US media cracks and other Holy Houses being burnt down.

Only one blogger duo, Mondoweiss, is keeping on top of it all and there's too much to report to allow much detail here. So here's just a round-up of some must-read posts:

Landmark event: 'LA Times' publishes a Jew embracing anti-Zionism

Adam Horowitz on the two-state solution

By all means, let us have the dual loyalty debate
One of Phil Weiss' best efforts, in my honest opinion.

'The rape of Washington'
On Uri Avnery's latest column.

Photo of the day: