Category Archives: The Jewish state as permanent threat

My Parents Founded a Settlement, Now Trump Could Make Their Dream Come True

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.776450

My Parents Founded a Settlement, Now Trump Could Make Their
Dream Come True

Yair Svorai Mar 12, 2017 4:37 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump’s “two-state and one-state” pronouncement
last month effectively signaled the demise of the Oslo Agreements – a
significant reversal of the long-established U.S. position, now in
contrast with a near-universal international consensus. It also supports
the continuation of Israel’s colonization of the territories it has
occupied since 1967.

Indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the spirit of
occupation-as-usual by demanding “security control” over the entire area
west of the Jordan River, proclaiming, in the words of The Nation’s
Rashid Khalidi, “A permanent regime of occupation and colonization,
ruling out a sovereign independent Palestinian state, whatever fictions
of ‘statehood’ or ‘autonomy’ are dreamed up to conceal this brutal
reality. Trump’s subsequent silence amounts to the blessing of the U.S.
government for this grotesque vision of enduring subjugation and
dispossession for the Palestinians.”

The expansion of Jewish settlement in, and control of, Palestine has
followed a consistent pattern for about 100 years: people replacement –
the replacement of Palestinians by Jews. It is crucial to understand the
timing of such expansion: whenever the opportunity arises. And, for
Israel, Donald J. Trump is a historical opportunity on a grand scale.

In 1907, the leadership of the World Zionist Organization sent Dr.
Arthur Ruppin on a fact-finding mission to Ottoman Palestine. Ruppin, a
German-Jewish economist and lawyer, subsequently developed a plan with
the ultimate goal of establishing Jewish self-rule in Ottoman Palestine,
where Jews were a small minority (between 6 and 9 percent).

The plan included establishing new settlements in such a way that over
time they would form a mass of settlements – Israel’s first settlement
bloc – to be used, much like today, as a geopolitical leveraging tool.

In the following three decades, prior to the Holocaust and before anyone
could imagine the horrific fate awaiting European Jews, the foundation
of the State of Israel was set in place via the creation of elaborate
pre-state institutions, buttressed by small waves of immigrants whose
political orientation ranged from Zionist socialists to right-wing
ultra-nationalists.

Among the latter were my parents, Moshe and Tova Svorai, arriving as
children from Eastern Europe in the early 1920s and belonging to the
most far-right elements of the Zionist movement – Betar and Brit
Habirionim, followed by the Irgun, and then the Lehi (Stern Gang); both
of these were pre-state Jewish terrorist organizations.

In the big-picture sense, left-wing and right-wing Zionists wanted the
same thing – a Jewish state in Palestine. The differences among them
were largely semantic: a matter of political style, timing and competing
approaches on how to reach that goal.

The elephant-in-the-room facing Zionism was – then, as now – ignored:
the land was already populated by Palestinian Arabs, who had been there
for centuries. Ignoring the physical reality, from early on Zionist
terminology was designed to perpetuate the myth of an empty land
awaiting its lost people: “A land without a people for a people without
a land.”

A dunam here and a dunam there

Following the original Ruppin Plan, the expansion of Jewish settlement
started with land acquisitions from absentee Arab landlords, culminating
in a military campaign to drive the native population off its land. As
the old Zionist saying goes, “A dunam here and a dunam there” (a dunam
is approximately equal to a quarter of an acre), whenever the
opportunity arises.

The same opportunistic vigor was used to remove the Palestinian people
from what was soon to become Israel.

The best known milestone in the removal of the Arab population was the
Deir Yassin massacre of April 9, 1948, conducted by Irgun and Lehi
forces, designed to scare Palestinians and cause them to flee their
homes, towns and villages.

Israel’s War of Independence consisted of other massacres, too. The war
itself followed Plan Dalet (Plan D), carefully developed by the
“moderate,” mainstream Haganah leadership to expand the territory of the
future state beyond the UN Partition Plan and to remove as much of
Palestine’s Arab population as possible. Then, as now, the goal of the
Jewish state has been to maximize its land area and to minimize the
Palestinian-Arab population residing in it.

This was the Nakba, the catastrophe – a term used by the Palestinian
people to describe the loss of their homeland: the disappearance of
entire communities totaling some 750,000 people, who were forced out of
their country. Post-1948 Palestine was a drastically changed land: about
500 Palestinian towns and villages had been emptied of their
inhabitants, their homes mostly razed and their lands divided among the
Jewish kibbutzim (communal farms) and villages.

The term Nakba, which is central to Palestinian nationhood as much as
the Holocaust is for Jews and slavery is for African-Americans, is
shunned by most Israeli Jews for obvious reasons: Even the mere
implication of responsibility for the Nakba war crimes is unacceptable.

Those Palestinians who managed to remain, now known as “1948
Palestinians,” were placed under military rule, with their basic civil
rights – such as the freedom to assemble, travel and claim their
properties – removed. In addition, most of their lands were confiscated
by the newly created Jewish state and transferred to kibbutzim and villages.

Military rule lasted until 1966 and assured that the dispossession of
the Palestinians could be carried out in a well-organized and highly
controlled manner – “a dunam here and a dunam there” – with the remnants
of the subject population confined to specific territories, in many
cases restricted to their villages, homes or jail cells.

‘This will belong to us’

The Green Line – the 1949 armistice line separating Israel from the West
Bank of Jordan – followed the line of Jewish settlements put in place
during the 1920s-’40s, in close adherence to the Ruppin Plan. It is
probably the first example of how “facts on the ground” proved to be
crucial for the success of the Zionist project, something that Ruppin
appreciated possibly before anyone else.

But the old Green Line was irregular and left a great deal of fertile,
hilly land on the other side. And then there was Jerusalem, whose
eastern parts, including Temple Mount, were also on the other side of
that border. Standing with my parents near the Montefiore Windmill in
the early ’60s, looking at the Old City on the other side of the
then-border, I vividly remember my astonished reaction to hearing my
mother say, “One day, this too will belong to us.” She was soon to be
proved right.

The swift military victory of the 1967 war offered an unprecedented
opportunity for Israel to expand in all directions. Jerusalem was the
nationalist-religious pinnacle; even more importantly, the last
remaining parts of old Palestine were now there for the taking – the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip, totaling 22 percent of historic Palestine.
Ditto the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights, and Sinai (which was
subsequently returned to Egypt under a separate “peace agreement”
following the 1973 war).

Since 1967, under the so-called “moderate” and “extreme” Israeli
governments led by the Labor and Likud parties, some 130 settlements and
100 outposts have been established in the West Bank, with a population
of some 400,000 Jewish settlers. Additionally, some 200,000 Israelis
live in East Jerusalem.

Any relocation of the occupier’s population into occupied territories,
whether into government-established settlements or so-called “rogue”
outposts, is considered illegal according to international law and
conventions.

When they were in their 60s, my own parents were among the founders of a
settlement in the northern West Bank, where they spent the rest of their
days. They were firm believers in the absolute and exclusive right of
the Jewish people to its biblical homeland, and remained committed to
making their personal contribution to their cause to the very end.

They were guided by Lehi’s “18 Principles of Rebirth” essay, which
defined biblical Israel as starting at the Nile and reaching to the
Euphrates River – a vast territory that includes parts of Egypt and
Saudi Arabia, most of Jordan and Syria, and all of Lebanon.
Incidentally, a large number of Israeli right-wingers, among them
Netanyahu and members of his government, admire Lehi and its principles
– including, at least in spirit, its territorial desires.

Immediately after the 1967 war, the Syrian population of the Golan
Heights (some 130,000 people) was forced out by Israel, 1948-style,
leaving the territory largely empty for Israeli colonization to take
root. Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights followed in 1981.
(Netanyahu is now seeking U.S. recognition from Trump of Israeli
sovereignty over the Golan Heights.)

Erasing the past

And the Nakba continued. The initial period after the 1967 war included
a number of known cases where West Bank villagers were expelled from
their homes by an Israeli military command attributed to Gen. Yitzhak
Rabin. Among them were the villages of Imwas, Yalo and Bayt Nuba in the
Latrun area, which were subsequently razed. (I visited the three
destroyed villages in August 1967. There was very little left other than
broken stones and fruit trees bursting with fruit left unpicked by
villagers, now turned refugees.) In an attempt to eradicate the villages
from history and erase them from public memory, the victors attempted to
conceal their crimes by planting a recreational forest, named Canada
Park, on the land formerly owned and cultivated by these villagers – a
concealment method that had been used before.

As for the rest of the West Bank, in a slow process that has lasted
nearly 50 years – and which continues to this day – the Palestinian
population has been stripped of much of its land and pushed into
Bantustan-like areas surrounded by Jewish settlements. The territory is
now dissected into enclaves designed by Israel to assure a discontinuity
of Palestinian land, thereby guaranteeing that a viable Palestinian
state cannot be established.

“Facts on the ground” work in both directions: the presence of one
population (Jewish) and the absence of another (Palestinian). Now, most
of the Jordan Valley has been cleared of the Palestinian population; in
hamlets of the poorest population – the Hebron Hills Bedouin – families
are routinely uprooted and forced out of their shacks.

And throughout the West Bank, bit by bit, “a dunam here and a dunam
there,” Palestinians are forced out by Jews. Houses are demolished, land
is taken or its cultivation is prevented; olive groves are uprooted by
settler thugs with full impunity, under the watchful gaze of Israel’s
occupation army – euphemistically called the Israel Defense Forces. And
Israeli government policy greatly restricts Palestinians in the West
Bank from using their land and natural resources, especially water
required to cultivate crops.

Thus, while Israeli settlements enjoy unrestricted water usage with lawn
sprinklers galore, Palestinian farmers who dig out a 10-foot-long
(3-meter) trench to collect and divert rainwater into a field or
vegetable garden risk punishment and the destruction of their fields and
gardens.

And the Nakba continues. A similar crackdown on Israel’s Palestinian
citizens takes place with predictable regularity along similar patterns
– as witnessed most recently by the destruction of the Bedouin village
of Umm al-Hiran, whose population is to be corralled elsewhere in the
Negev and its lands designated for a new Jewish settlement. The more
things change, the more they stay the same.

This is a very short list of the evils of Israel’s occupation – all of
this, and much more, has been widely reported over the past five
decades, and documented in great detail by UN agencies, multiple
international aid organizations, foreign consulate staff and local civic
organizations, both Palestinian and Israeli. (The death and destruction
in Gaza, its collapsed infrastructure, economy, essential public health
facilities, child nutrition and basic resources of livelihood require
separate coverage.)

The Oslo II (“Taba”) Agreement divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and
C – a division that is used by Israel to divide and rule, confine and
control the local Palestinian population.

The experience of 1948 and the early years of statehood have proven most
beneficial to Zionist colonialism. A slow and methodical acquisition of
land, this time by means that are entirely illegal, coupled with
strategic removal and confinement of the Palestinian population,
resulted in settlement blocs – vast land areas that are largely
Arab-free and a network of highways, other infrastructure projects and
state institutions serving the Jewish-only settlements.

This is nothing short of new-age apartheid, where the indigenous
population is not only of no value to its colonial masters – not even as
a source of cheap labor – but it is essential for the success of the
colonial project that it be removed: the more of “them” that are gone,
the better off “we” are. That people-removal process is called ethnic
cleansing, which is a crime against humanity under the statute of the
International Criminal Court.

All of this has been carried out mostly in plain view, under the world’s
watchful eye. It has also been made possible and indirectly funded by
the United States, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike
– notwithstanding outgoing President Barack Obama’s lame-duck UN
Security Council non-veto move, and various U.S. declarations about
Israeli settlements being “a threat to peace,” or making it “almost
impossible … to create a contiguous, functioning Palestinian state.”
Both true, but meaningless.

Despite the rhetoric, the United States has been the primary enabler of
Israel’s occupation: military aid (currently $38 billion over the next
10 years), including the very latest technologies, and close military
coordination; tax exemptions for donations to Israel, including to
organizations that fund settlements; global diplomatic protection; and
the lending of legitimacy to a state whose actions would have otherwise
made it a global pariah long ago.

Thus, under the guise of a never-ending “peace process,” the United
States has acted as a dishonest broker and purveyor of broken promises,
e.g., a “two-state solution” where the territory of the imagined state
is eaten up by the other, already existing regional-superpower state
while “peace talks” continue. It’s like the pizza analogy where two
parties engage in lengthy negotiations over the splitting of a pie,
while one of them keeps eating the slices. Over these past 50 years, the
United States has facilitated the replacement of the Palestinian people,
bit by bit, one dunam and one person at a time, as Israel grabs every
opportunity that arises, paid for by Uncle Sam.

For Israel, the election of Trump to the highest office in the land
presents a historical opportunity on a grand scale to accelerate both
settlement expansion and the process of people replacement.

Never before has a U.S. president expressed such unbridled support for
an Israeli government – especially one that is widely seen as the most
right-wing, aggressive Israeli government ever.

In light of the new opportunity, the Israeli government has unleashed a
wave of settlement construction permits in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem – so far totaling about 6,000 homes for Jewish settlers – and
announced the creation of a new settlement.

In addition, a new law allowing the confiscation of privately held
Palestinian land for the benefit of Jewish settlements was recently
passed. As journalist Jonathan Cook explained in The National, “In
practice, there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian
land. But now Israeli government support for the plunder will be
explicit in law.” The Nakba continues, vigorously.

Reality could not be much uglier and the future could not look much
bleaker – most especially for Palestinians, but also for Israeli Jews.
As Haaretz writer and occupation expert Amira Hass noted, “It’s hard to
admit that the Zionist ideology and its product – Israel – have created
a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and
history, that has blood on its hands under the excuse of security, that
for decades has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan
reality, on both sides of the Green Line.”

Perhaps hard to admit, but crucially important to recognize.

The writer, a former Israeli, has lived in the United States for 45 years.

Lieberman: Disloyal Israeli Arabs Should Be Beheaded

Lieberman: Disloyal Israeli Arabs Should Be Beheaded

MK Ahmad Tibi compares Yisrael Beiteinu head’s vision to a ‘Jewish ISIS’; foreign minister also reiterates support for transfer.
http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/1.646076

Ha’aretz, 9.3.2015

Israeli Arabs who are disloyal to the State of Israel should have their heads chopped off, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at an elections conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya this week.

“Whoever’s with us should get everything – up to half the kingdom,” Lieberman said Sunday, in a reference to King Ahaseurus’ pledge to Queen Esther as described in the Book of Esther, which tells the story of the Purim holiday celebrated last week.

But Israeli Arabs who are disloyal to the state deserve a different fate, the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu said at the “Voting for Democracy – 2015 Elections” election conference, Channel 2 News reported.

“Those who are against us, there’s nothing to be done – we need to pick up an ax and cut off his head,” Lieberman said. “Otherwise we won’t survive here.”

Prominent Israeli Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, who is No. 4 on the Arab parties’ Joint List ticket, suggested a situation like that described by Lieberman would result in a Jewish version of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Joint List “will remove racists’ and fascists’ heads only through democratic means – bringing as many [Knesset] seats as possible and active participation in the election,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Tibi as saying Monday. “The stronger we are, the weaker the Jewish Islamic State will be.”

Lieberman also reiterated his position advocating the transfer of at least some of Israel’s Arab citizens.

“There is no reason for Umm al-Fahm to be part of the State of Israel,” Lieberman said about a northern Israeli town populated by Arab citizens of Israel, according to the Channel 2 report. “Citizens of the State of Israel who raise a black flag on Nakba Day – from my perspective, they can leave, and I’m very happily willing to donate them to Abu Mazen,” he said, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/1.646076

Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza

Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza

Human rights group B’Tselem will petition Israel’s supreme court after advert was deemed to be ‘politically controversial’
in Jerusale
The Guardian,
Aid agencies said on Wednesday that a child had been killed in Gaza on average every hour for the preceding two days. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio advertisement from a human rights organisation which listed the names of some of the scores of children killed in Gaza since the conflict began 17 days ago.

B’Tselem‘s appeal against the decision was rejected on Wednesday. It intends to petition Israel‘s supreme court on Sunday in an effort to get the ban overturned.

The IBA said the ad’s content was “politically controversial”. The broadcast refers to child deaths in Gaza and reads out some of the victims’ names.

In its appeal, B’Tselem demanded to know what was controversial about the item. “Is it controversial that the children [aren’t] alive? That they’re children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public’s knowledge.”

In a statement, the human rights group said: “So far more than 600 people have been killed in bombings in Gaza, more than 150 of them children. But apart from a brief report on the number of fatalities, the Israeli media refrains from covering them.” By Thursday morning, the death toll in Gaza had exceeded 700.

B’Tselem went on: “IBA says broadcasting the children’s names is politically controversial. But refusing to do so is in itself a far-reaching statement – it says the huge price being paid by civilians in Gaza, many of them children, must be censored.”

Aid agencies said on Wednesday that a child had been killed in Gaza on average every hour for the preceding two days, and more than 70,000 children had been forced to flee their homes. There has also been a spike in the number of premature births.

“The shocking number of children being killed, injured, or displaced in Gaza demands an unequivocal international response to stop the bloodshed,” Save the Children said. “Entire families are being wiped out in seconds as a result of the targeting of homes.”

Dr Yousif al Swaiti, director of al-Awda hospital, said: “We have witnessed many premature births as a result of the fear and psychological disorders caused by the military offensive. The number of cases of premature births per day has doubled, compared to the average daily rate before the escalation.”

Israel: Manipulating the World to Destruction

http://bravenewworld.in/2013/04/02/israel-manipulating-the-world-to-destruction/

Israel: Manipulating the World to Destruction
April 2, 2013 · by Sufyan bin Uzayr
By: Dan Lieberman
 
The Middle East crisis has reached a decisive point. From the entry of a relatively few Zionists to Palestine, the trajectory of the crisis has monotonically pursued a direction toward complete Zionist control of former Palestinian lands and complete disruption of Palestinian life. A startled world wonders how this happened, while neglecting the social and psychological manipulations that preceded each stage of the Zionists’ forward movement. Unaware of this strategy of conditioning, the world fails to apply necessary countermeasures and halt a more far reaching conflagration.
 
Manipulating a world to enhance a nation’s interests is not unique, and especially easy for a country that is a global economic and military power. Citizens relish the strength that gives them respect and advantages, refuse to regard the harm done to others and are blinded to the eventual retribution. Napoleon and Queen Victoria convinced their own and colonial subjects, for a while, that their armies, navies and administrations brought civilization and prosperity to subdued peoples. Nazi Germany had approval of its nationals and many peoples from other nations as its Panzers swept across a Europe that Hitler posed as one to which Germany would bring stability, peace and cleared of what he defined as the “scourge of liberalism.” The United States spread its influence with slogans of bringing freedom and democracy until injured peoples surveyed their dead and wounded and realized these were dubious phrases.
 
An expanding Israel is unique. Although not starting as a global economic and military power, Israel has advanced its frontiers with its own manipulations – convincing a part of the world that its development has been defensive, a reaction to events, and honestly implemented. Can we trust the words of a nation that, for whatever reason, occupies other people’s lands, has forced out the native peoples, committed a myriad of proven atrocities, changes daily the landmarks and artifacts of history to suit its agenda, and has maintained generations of Palestinians in oppressive and captive conditions?
 
The manipulated scenario describes dispersed Jews seeking a national home, obtaining it after fleeing the World War II Holocaust and arriving in the land of their ancestors, which, as Israeli education teaches students, was given to them by a vote from the United Nations. Because of consistent attacks upon the Yishuv, the Jewish residents in Palestine and their Israeli descendants were forced to defend themselves. Conflicts caused turmoil, and a major part of the Arab population of Palestine became displaced. Continuous wars, forced upon Israel by adjacent Arab nations, pushed development of a strong military whose decisive victories captured territory for defensive purposes. For security reasons, Israel expanded its boundaries and placed immigrants in strategic locations in the West Bank. Roads and a security wall, which happened to cut through Palestinian lands, became necessary in order to prevent terrorists from entering the homeland. Security measures demanded absolute control of Palestinian movements. Unfortunately, a poorly directed and recalcitrant Palestinian community has been responsible for its decline and egregious fate.
 
Facts create a contradictory scenario, which will have its detractors. However, any refutation should argue with the facts and not the overall scenario.
 
History contradicts the portrayal of Zionism as a mass movement by the Jewish people. The Zionist message prompted nations to question the loyalty of their Jewish citizens, served to impede their advances, and reinforced a race-baiting theory that Jews engaged in international conspiracies. Proof is shown by the Russian Jews, who had major problems and did not consider Zionism as a relief for their difficulties. Between 1881 and 1914, 2.5 million Jews migrated from Russia – 1.7 million to America, 500,000 to Western Europe, almost 300,000 to other nations, and only 30,000 – 50,000 to Palestine (ED: 15,000 returned to Russia). Plans for establishing a nation on Palestinian lands occurred long before World War II, and therefore the World War II Holocaust had no relation to the Zionist concept for the creation of a state. The settlers, of whom only 180,000 came from refugee camps, arrived in Palestine with no more verified connection with the ancient Hebrews than many other ethnicities. Known to archaeology and accepted history (not Biblical history) as mainly wandering tribes that established themselves in hilltop areas of Canaan, the Hebrews never formed a vibrant civilization or a unified nation of extensive administered territory. Not only is it unproven that the land to which European Zionists returned was a land of their forefathers, but the claim is supercilious – in a world of democratic law, legal qualifications, not self-proclaimed and spurious identifications that span thousands of years, determine land ownership, and the Zionists had no legal claims, while Palestinian people had occupied and tilled the area for generations.
 
Identification of Hebrews as Jews happened principally during the during the fifth century B.C., after Hebrews returned from exile in Persia with a more complete vision of monotheistic Judaism, and later in Mesopotamia during the fifth century A.D., where the center of Rabbinical Judaism composed the main body of Jewish law, the Babylonian (not the Jerusalem)Talmud.
 
Skip one thousand five hundred years to the 1948 War, when 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes and Israel refused to allow them to return to their ancestral lands. During the Palestinian exodus, known atrocities, forcible evictions and brutal attacks, all planned to intimidate Palestinian families to leave, have been documented. Israel destroyed 411 Arab villages, and engaged in several wars with its neighbors in which the kill ratio overwhelmingly favored Israel, and by which Israel doubled its original territory. For more than sixty years, Palestinians have seen their lands appropriated and their lives controlled by an Israel military authority. The Israeli army occupies the Jordan valley, and slowly clears it of Palestinian presence, while Israeli settlers, mostly immigrants from foreign nations, occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem. All these endeavors have been declared illegal by several United Nation resolutions.
 
President Barack Obama’s recent voyage to Israel exposes and emphasizes the conditioning of the world community to acceptance of the Zionist agenda. It is difficult to believe that an erudite President Obama prepared the speech. Examine some of his statements.
 
I’ve borne witness to the ancient history of the Jewish people at the Shrine of the Book,
The Shrine of the Book only houses the Dead Sea scrolls and the Aleppo codex, which are controversial rewrites of Biblical scrolls and not historical documents. Touring Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Archaeological Museum and the Bible Lands Museum, which is across from the Shrine of the Book, demonstrates that there are few significant artifacts of an established Hebrew civilization in the Middle East – no constructions other than those from ninth century B.C. King Omri era, nor statues, monuments, roads, ships, national commerce, weapons, treasures, utensils, jewelry, communication, transportation, and significant documents, other than the Bible, that have survived and can be attributed to the efforts of the ancient Hebrews before the sixth century Babylonian invasion of the Levant.
 
It’s a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God and the Torah. It’s a story about finding freedom in your own land. And for the Jewish people, this story is central to who you’ve become. But it’s also a story that holds within it the universal human experience, with all of its suffering, but also all of its salvation.
 
These are Biblical stories, refuted by Israel’s most recognized archaeologists and historians, such as Prof. Ze’ev Herzog, Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho, Ha’aretz Magazine, Oct. 29, 1999.
 
Although the ancient Egyptians maintained detailed recordings of their lives and later academics compiled that history, no historical evidence has been presented of centuries of Hebrew slavery and their years of wandering in the desert. The Sinai desert has never exposed the wanderings and the Hebrew language did not exist during the supposed time. The “exodus” did not free the Jews – just the opposite – it has been used to keep Jews in perpetual bondage to a false sense of history and given them a conscience that sees themselves as eternal victims, and distracts them from realizing that they may also play a role in the injustices done to others.
 
For the Jewish people, the journey to the promise of the State of Israel wound through countless generations. It involved centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice and pogroms and even genocide. Through it all, the Jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions, as well as a longing to return home. And while Jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the Zionist idea — to be a free people in your homeland. That’s why I believe that Israel is rooted not just in history and tradition, but also in a simple and profound idea — the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own.
 
Mostly true, except for using the concept of a Jewish people. Two persons make a people, but a people don’t make a nation. A nation refers to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and history. The Jews, similar to the Mennonites, Jehovah Witnesses, Basques, and myriads of other religious and ethnic groups did not share the attributes of a nation. If it were otherwise, why has Israel’s thrust been to give its Jews a new frame of a nation – a common language, culture, descent and history. The Mizrahi, who came to Israel, were Arabs; the Europeans were Ashkenazi; the Ethiopians were Falasha and the Yemenites were from the Arabian peninsula. The differing languages, dialects, music, cultures and heritage of these ethnicities have been discarded and replaced by unique and uniform characteristics. With the destruction of each community went the destruction of centuries old Jewish history and life in Tunisia, Iraq, Libya and Egypt. All these immigrants became a new Jew, an Israeli Jew, which unlike the Iraqi Jews, who were probably the closest relatives to the ancient Jews, had no proven lineage to the biblical Hebrews.
 
If Obama is sincere in helping people from their journey as a people to a nation, he should give attention to the aspirations of the Kurds, Assyrians and Nubians. Each of these peoples, who have suffered greatly throughout history, and still suffer today, especially the three million Assyrians, have all the elements of a people and were well recognized and established as nations in previous eras. Maybe a little prejudice and favoritism to others permits them to be disregarded.
 
I know Israel has taken risks for peace. Brave leaders — Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin — reached treaties with two of your neighbors. You made credible proposals to the Palestinians at Annapolis. You withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon, and then faced terror and rockets. Across the region, you’ve extended a hand of friendship and all too often you’ve been confronted with rejection and, in some cases, the ugly reality of anti-Semitism. So I believe that the Israeli people do want peace, and I also understand why too many Israelis — maybe an increasing number, maybe a lot of young people here today — are skeptical that it can be achieved.
 
The two mentioned Israeli leaders could never redeem themselves for their severe atrocities against the Palestinians. Begin held office as Prime Minister during the first invasion of Lebanon and during the attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila. Excerpts from the Kahan Commission report.
 
On the evening of September 16, 1982, a force of about 150 Phalangists entered the Sabra and Shatila camps under Israeli protection. It subsequently developed that instead of restoring order, the Phalangists perpetrated a massacre in the camps. Estimates of the number of people killed and missing vary from about 460 (Red Cross estimates) to 700 (IDF intelligence estimate) to 2,000 (Palestinian estimates). There is no doubt that the victims included women and children, as well as unarmed men, and were mostly not Palestinian fighters killed in the heat of battle.
 
The Kahan Commission determined that Ariel Sharon and several others were at least negligent in their duty and should have known that there was a danger that such massacres might occur. Under these circumstances they should not have permitted the Phalangists to enter the camps, or should have at least taken steps to ensure that no massacres occurred, or should have intervened to investigate and stop the massacres once suspicious reports began coming out of the camps.
 
Yitzhak Rabin was responsible for the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948. Historian Benny Morris wrote in “Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948″, Middle East Journal, 40.
 
At 13.30 hours on 12 July [1948]… Lieutenant-Colonel Yitzhak Rabin, operation Dani head Operation, issued the following order: ’1. The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly without attention to age. They should be directed to Beit Nabala,… Implement Immediately.’ A similar order was issued at the same time to the Kiryati Brigade concerning the inhabitants of the neighboring town of Ramle, occupied by Kiryati troops that morning… On 12 and 13 July, the Yaftah brigades carried out their orders, expelling the 50-60,000 remaining inhabitants of and refugees camped in and around the two towns….
 
Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1967 war, Yitzhak Rabin, was responsible for expelling about 5,000 inhabitants from three villages in the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (Emwas, Beit Nuba and Yalou) and having the villages destroyed. The Jerusalem Post of 24 October 1991, reported that “Rabin admitted to Canadian TV that he gave the order to destroy the villages. The inhabitants were not allowed to return nor bury their dead.”
 
Rabin, as Defense Minister, is also known for the infamous “break their bones” decree during the first Intifada (1987), a means to make impotent the Palestinian male population. Reports had Palestinian youngsters rounded up from their homes, brought to remote areas, and while soldiers held them, had their bones smashed. Amira Hass in Haaretz, Nov.04, 2005, described the feelings “when Palestinians were asked about Rabin.”
 
… this is what they remember: One thinks of his hands, scarred by soldiers’ beatings; another remembers a friend who flitted between life and death in the hospital for 12 days, after he was beaten by soldiers who caught him drawing a slogan on a wall during a curfew. Yet another remembers the Al-Am’ari refugee camp; during the first Intifada, all its young men were hopping on crutches or were in casts because they had thrown stones at soldiers, who in turn chased after them and carried out Rabin’s order.
 
Prime Ministers Begin and Shamir were known terrorists during the British Mandate, the former being responsible for the bombing of the King David hotel and the latter accused of playing a role in the assassination of UN representative Folke Bernadotte. Manipulations prevented their trial for criminal efforts. Israel leadership, except for Moshe Sharret, who was forced to resign the office due to his conciliatory attitude toward the Palestinians, have been nationalist hawks, have encroached upon Palestinian lands and those, after 1967, pursued a policy of constructing West Bank settlements.
 
The rest of Obama’s appraisals in the former paragraph of his speech is subject to interpretation, and it is doubtful that much of the world would interpret the happenings as he expressed them.
 
Here, in this small strip of land that has been the center of so much of the world’s history, so much triumph and so much tragedy, Israelis have built something that few could have imagined 65 years ago.
 
This severe exaggeration is constantly repeated. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Emirates, South Africa and many other countries have shown more dynamic growth since 1950, and, unlike Israel, achieved the progress without huge aid from the United States and Germany. Israel’s major cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem (except for the Old City) are routine in appearance and activity. Amman, Jordan, with its engineering marvels of tunnels and bridges, has much more appeal than Tel Aviv. A trip through Israel does not reveal any special advancements – some interesting tourist areas, mostly from Roman and Crusader times, and sterile urban areas, with pockets of poverty and deterioration. As for making the desert bloom, bring in irrigation and anything will bloom. Maybe Israel’s irrigation and desalinization methods are slightly more advanced, but Israel does not have any proprietary methods that money cannot buy. The Negev is no more vital than Phoenix, Arizona or the farms that Qatar is building in the desert. Look at it another way – Israel has used huge quantities of water in a water deficient area and has destroyed the appearance of the biblical lands they claim to cherish, and which the Palestinians preserved for centuries.
 
At the Paris Peace Conference, the Zionists stated their mission and Israel has intended to fulfill that mission – incorporate all of former Palestine, and maybe more, into one Jewish state, or have nothing – and no Israeli Prime Minister dares to deter the Zionist state from its ultimate objective. Unlike, much of the world, the Arab nations are cognizant of Israel’s plans and scramble to prevent them. Despite the manipulation of rhetoric, the Arab world and Iran are consigned to an Israeli state, but not this Israeli state, not to a military state of exclusiveness, which treats Arabs as inferiors and promotes a singular group.
 
The world faces two choices – permit Israel to continue its expansionist polices and destroy the Middle East or bring democratic changes and level headed government to an Israel that is willing to share the country with the original landowners. The latter suggestion removes a major impediment to instability and conflict in the Middle East. Naturally, a corrupt and manipulated world will accept its own destruction.
 
About the author: Dan Lieberman is the Editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. His website articles have been read in over 150 nations, while articles written for other websites have appeared or been linked in online journals throughout the world. Many of his works have been translated into French, German and Spanish. His articles have also served as teaching resources in several Universities and public courses, and some of his writings have become Internet Classics, with about 10,000 readers annually years after initial publication. Click hereto mail him.

Letter to Jimmy Carter re. the Jewish State

"From an examination of this process I conclude that Israel, by its very constitution as a Jewish State, is a threat to the peace."

Dear Mr.  Carter,

I read your article in the Guardian of December 12, 2006 "Israel, Palestine, peace and apartheid."  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1970058,00.html). As a "Jew" born in Palestine in 1941 and living in Iceland, I fully endorse your views expressed in this article and thank you for bringing these subjects up, even at the risk of being labelled "antisemitic".  I have myself been indoctrinated in my youth by Zionist propaganda and did not in my young years realize the racist nature of Zionism, Israel’s state ideology.  As Zionism – namely the concept of a "Jewish state" – is contrary to the modern concept of a state which belongs to all its citizens, I do not believe that there will be peace as long as Israel remains a "Jewish" state.   For the same reason I agree with the refusal to recognize the "right" of existence of such a state (which is distinct from the recognition of its physical existence).

There is another point I wish to impress upon you, which is widely glossed over.  It is my conviction that Israel, as a Jewish state, cannot afford peace.  I do not here have in mind its military industry or the interests of its professional military.  What I have in mind is the attitude of most Jews and the Zionist movement towards assimilation.  As numerous Zionist leaders have openly expressed, they consider assimilation of Jews, such as mixed marriages, as the main threat to Judaism, comparable to the Holocaust: Both significantly reduce the number of Jews.  To put at par the love felt by a person of Jewish descent to another person of gentile descent with mass murder testifies to the pathologic nature of Zionist thinking.  It also underlines the hysterical approach of Zionists to the phenomenon of assimilation.  A true peace between Israel and its neighbours will inevitably lead to a cultural intercourse between Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as economic cooperation.  This will inevitably dilute the cultural and demographic nature of the Jewish state and with time lead to a growing rate of mixed marriages, particularly if fundamentalist ideologies will slowly give way to a secular worldview.  This threat to the "Jewish people" is to be resisted by all means by the Zionists and by all those who strive to maintain the "Jewish people". The only means to do so is by creating a spiritual and physical wall between Jews and their neighbours.  Historically, Jews attempted to prevent assimilation by pursuing distinct eating habits, clothing and other overt distinctions, thus creating a high threshold for those who would like to integrate into the surrounding environment.   The shedding of such distinct living style, such as by most Jews in the United States, has inevitably led to a high rate of assimilation decried regularly by the Zionists who try not only to "educate" Jewish youth but urge it to move to Israel, where they can be better controlled and manipulated.

The maintenance of hatred and distrust among Arabs towards Israelis is useful for Jewish unity.  This has not escaped Zionist leaders.  Obviously the Zionists do not trumpet this "usefulness", but it can easily be inferred from the Zionist dread of assimilation, the insistance of the Jewish State to designate itself as "European", thus implying that they do not wish to integrate into their region, and the long trail of provocative policies pursued by all Israeli governments since 1948 against its neighbours and the Palestinian people.  From an examination of this process I conclude that Israel, by its very constitution as a Jewish State, is a threat to the peace.  While few in the West realize this concusion, most Arabs do.  I do not see any hope for Israel, as a Jewish state, to remain so in a situation of warm peace.

For the above reason, I urge you to reconsider your attitude towards the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel.  Such a scenario can neither fulfil the rights of the Palestinian people, including particularly those of the refugees who are entitled under international law to return to their erstwhile locations located under Israeli jurisdiction. Nor can this scenario secure the Palestinian people true sovereignty.  The reason for this is at least twofold: First such a Palestinian "state" would not be territorially contiguous but divided at best into two distinct areas (Gaza and West Bank), leaving Palestinians continuously at the mercy of Israeli non-interference of travel between the two areas.  Secondly, Israel has made it clear that it would not allow a fully sovereign Palestinian state. Even the most vocal supporters of a Palestinian state in Israel insist that Palestine should remain a demilitarized state, thus at the mercy of Israel coercion and invasion.  The very concept of equality is anathema to Israelis, even the most "progressive" ones.   I mention these two points, leaving at this point aside the questiion of economic viability and the control of underground water, and the question of Jerusalem.    The only solution which could secure the rights of the Palestinians and Israeli Jews to human dignity and equality is the transformation of Israel, including occupied territories, to a modern democratic state, ensuring all Palestinians and Israelis equal rights under a modern constitution.  I urge you to consider this vision, as both compatible with human rights, international law and ethics.   And even if this vision is currently not widely supported, it nevertheless provides the ONLY blueprint for a true peace in the Holy Land.   Your support for such a vision could be invaluable.

With my sincere greetings,

Elias Davidsson
Reykjavik, Iceland

Zionism is incompatible with peace

ZIONISM AND PEACE IN PALESTINE

[Zionism is incompatible with peace]

By Nizar Sakhnini,
31. December 2004

Peaceful co-existence requires respect for and acceptance of the other as an equal human being with equal human rights.  Zionism is based on ethnic superiority and complete denial of the other, which leaves no room for peace with Zionism in Palestine.

Peace meant specifying borders for Israel and the return of Palestinian refugees to the homes and lands, which were stolen from them to provide accommodation for alien colonial settlers.  This was not acceptable to the Zionists and it was the reason behind the failure of all peace initiatives and efforts made for over five decades.  The Zionists wanted to buy time in order to expand their territorial boundaries and to avoid any return of the Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

In a speech to the Israeli Knesset on 15 June 1948, Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Sharett (Shertok), refused repatriation of the Palestinian refugees.  He stated, “A wave of returning refugees might explode the state from inside”?  (Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities.  New York: 1987, p. 223, citing Record of the Knesset, vol. 1, 1949, session 43)

In a cabinet meeting that was held on 16 June, David Ben-Gurion spoke out against a return of Arab refugees.  Sharett agreed: “They will not return.  This is our policy, they shall not return.” (Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from their Homeland.  London/Boston: 1987, p. 145)

Ben-Gurion recorded in his war diary, in 1949, that Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, “sees no need to run after peace.  The armistice is sufficient for us; if we run after peace, the Arabs will demand a price of us ? borders that is, in terms of territory or refugees that is, repatriation or both.  Let us wait a few years.”  (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947 ? 1949, p. 22, citing quotations in Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan, p. 465 and citing David Ben-Gurion, Yoman Hamilhama-Tashah the war diary 1948-9, ed. Gershon Rivlin and Elhannan Orren, Tel Aviv, 1982, iii, p. 993)

In an effort to bring about a peaceful end to the war in 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte was appointed by the UN as a mediator between the Arabs and Israel. He submitted a ninety-page report to the UN Security Council on 16 September 1948. Bernadotte was assassinated in the Jewish part of Jerusalem on the following day in the Katamon quarter of Jerusalem.  His final proposals to end the conflict were published on 20 September.

Following Bernadotte’s assassination, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution # 194 on 11 December 1948.  The resolution expressed its “Deep appreciation of the progress achieved through the good offices of the late UN Mediator in promoting a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine, for which cause he sacrificed his life”.  The resolution also established a Conciliation Commission consisting of the representatives of the U.S., France, and Turkey to assume the functions given to the UN Mediator on Palestine and to carry out any other functions and directives given to it by the General Assembly or by the Security Council.

Peace negotiations held under the patronage of the Palestine Conciliation Commission were opened in Lausanne,  Switzerland on 26 April 1949.

During the PCC discussions in 1949, the Arabs were ready to make peace with Israel provided the refugees were allowed to return to their homes.  Israel rejected the offer.  The “return” and “rehabilitation” of the Palestinian refugees are inconsistent with the Zionist objective of building an exclusive Jewish State.

The PCC took two steps to try to break the logjam:

1.  Set up a Technical Committee on Refugees to workout measures for implementation of the provisions of UN resolution # 194.

2.  Called an international conference at Lausanne where, under PCC chairmanship, the parties could discuss the whole range of issues ? refugees, Jerusalem, borders, recognition ” and hammer out a comprehensive peace settlement.  (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, Cambridge, 1987, p. 260)

The Lausanne protocol stated that the aim of the conference was to achieve “as quickly as possible the objectives of the General Assembly resolution # 194 of December 11, 1948, regarding the refugees, respect for their rights, and the preservation of their property, as well as territorial and other questions”.

Under the threat that the US would prevent Israel’s admission to the UN, Israel finally agreed to attend the conference. The PCC conference was opened in Lausanne,  Switzerland on 26 April 1949.

In his guidelines to the delegation in Lausanne with respect to negotiating peace, Sharett pointed out that “it behooves us to do so not with haste and trepidation but by revealing strength and the ability to exist even without official peace.”  According to Sharett, since official peace was not a vital necessity, Israel had nothing to lose from procrastination.  (Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities.  New York: 1987, p. 215, citing ISA 120.02/2447/3 & ISA 93.03/2487/11)

The efforts of the PCC were unsuccessful.  It called for a return of the refugees to their homes.  Israel simply rejected that.  Palestinian homes and lands were coveted to settle colonial settlers coming from all corners of the world.  It also called for the assumption of the functions of mediation started with Count Bernadotte to arrive at a “final settlement of questions outstanding between the Governments and authorities concerned”.  This meant final boundaries for Israel and peace with its neighbors, which would have limited its desire for expansion. (For a detailed account on the PCC conference and the myth of Israel’s extended hand for peace, see: Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities.  New York: 1987, pp. 201-232)

Failure of the PCC to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict was replicated with all other peace initiatives and efforts ever since.

Israeli PM Shamir declared that he wanted the negotiations in Washington, which followed the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid on 30 October 1991, to continue for 10 years, if need be, so that he had enough time to keep on going with planned Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and leave nothing for the negotiations to talk about.  (Mohammad Hassanein Haikal, Secret Negotiations between the Arabs and Israel, in Arabic, Cairo, 1996, Volume III, p. 254)

Benjamin Netanyahu was elected as Israel’s Prime Minister in May 1996.  On 17 June 1996 Netanyahu’s office released a statement outlining his government’s guidelines with regard to the peace process.  It said no to withdrawal from the OPT, no to a Palestinian State, no to an official Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, and no to the refugees? right of return “to any part of the Land of Israel sic west of the Jordan River”.  (Elia Zureik, The Palestinian Refugees: Background.  Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, 1996.  p. 127)

Dov Weisglass, Sharon’s senior adviser and one of the initiators of Sharon’s disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz.  According to Weisglass, “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process.  And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda”.  (Ha’aretz, 6 October 2004)

In his speech at the 5th Herzliya Conference, Sharon put it in unequivocal words, “The understandings between the U.S. President and me protect Israel’s most essential interests: first and foremost, not demanding a return to the ?67 borders; allowing Israel to permanently keep large settlement blocs which have high Israeli populations; and the total refusal of allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Israel.”
 
After decades of bloodshed, we are still running within a vicious circle.  Zionism and peace in Palestine are irreconcilable.  The road for peace requires acknowledgement and correction of the wrong done in Palestine, abandonment of the Zionist myth and acceptance of Palestinian Arabs as equal human beings with equal human rights.

Nizar  Sakhnini, 31 December 2004