By making impossible demands, Netanyahu seeks to paint the Palestinians as intransigent and deflect international pressure
“Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, where the civil rights of all citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, are guaranteed,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a speech in Washington earlier this month. “The land of Israel is the place where the identity of the Jewish people was forged…We never forget that, but it’s time the Palestinians stopped denying history.”
He went on to make his demand in no uncertain terms: “Just as Israel is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians must be prepared to recognize a Jewish state.”
It throws a new stumbling block into a peace process that was already struggling to overcome the long-term sticking points of security, borders, the status of Jerusalem, and the plight of refugees. Many observers have suggested that Netanyahu, by making a demand he knows to be impossible, is attempting to paint the Palestinians as intransigent and deflect growing international pressure to reach a peace agreement.
Recognising the right of Israel to exist is not the same as recognizing Israel’s right to be a Jewish state. Netanyahu’s demand is untenable for Palestinian leaders because of the political implications. Accepting Israel’s definition of itself as a Jewish state would be to indirectly forgo the right of return for at least five million Palestinian refugees. (In his speech, Netanyahu advised Abbas to tell “Palestinians to abandon their fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees”).
It would also tacitly accept that Israeli Arabs have less right to citizenship or less stake in the state. And, indeed, it would be to accept Israel’s argument that biblical history gives them the right to the land. This strikes at the very heart of the conflict: Palestinians maintain that the events of the Bible do not override the thousands of years that they inhabited the land. Palestinian leaders have compromised a lot, but it is unlikely that they will concede that their version of history is incorrect. “This is like telling the Palestinians they did not exist all these hundreds and thousands of years, that this historically has been a Jewish land,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Not everyone in the Israeli political establishment agrees with this piece of political manoeuvring by Netanyahu. Israeli president Shimon Peres has queried the wisdom of the stipulation, while Yair Lapid, Finance Minister and leader of the second-largest coalition party, has also challenged it.
Writing in Haaretz, the newspaper’s former editor, David Landau points out that many Jews in Israel and elsewhere do not agree with Netanyahu’s “imperious” version of Zionism, nor the decision to try to force Palestinians to agree with it. “Regarding the present Israeli-Palestinian impasse, many Israelis and Palestinians believe that Netanyahu’s broaching of the ‘Jewish state’ issue was intended deliberately to slow the negotiations or thwart an agreement,” he writes.
This recent push is not the first time that Netanyahu has made the demand that Palestine recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He made similar statements in Washington in 2011. Then, as now, US officials largely supported him.
Historically, though, this has not been a major issue in peace negotiations. The requirement was – in the words of UN resolution 242 – for Palestine to recognize “Israel’s right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”, which the PLO did in 1993. The idea that the Palestinian leadership should formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state was raised at the Annapolis Conference in 2007, and even George W Bush – a staunch defender of Israel – did not adopt it, referring to Israel in his speech as “a homeland for the Jewish people”.
Yet by 2011, Netanyahu was telling Congress: “It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… ‘I will accept a Jewish state.’ Those six words will change history.” This is despite the fact that the issue was not raised during Israel’s peace negotiations with Egypt and Jordan, nor indeed at all during Netanyahu’s first term in office.
Writing in Foreign Policy magazine in 2011, Hussein Ibish pointed out that it is a strange demand, even apart from the political connotations: “The idea that a state – or in this case a potential state – should participate in defining the national character of another is highly unusual, if not unique, in international relations. The Palestinian position, stated many times by President Mahmoud Abbas, is that the PLO recognizes Israel, and that Israel is free to define itself however it chooses.”
Given this context, the suggestion of Landau (and many others) that Netanyahu is cynically playing for time and attempting to shift the emphasis of discussion – and deflect growing international pressure to reach a deal – seems highly plausible.
The US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro asserted that the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal currently being negotiated by US Secretary of State of John Kerry will include recognition of Israel as “the nation state of the Jewish people”,The Times of Israel reported on Friday.
Citing an interview Shapiro conducted with Israel Radio on Friday morning, The Times of Israel quoted him as saying, “It’s too early to know what compromises and concessions both sides will make. But we do believe… that Israel deserves recognition as a Jewish state. That has always been US policy — that Israel is a Jewish state and should remain a Jewish state. That will be one of the elements of the framework we’re working on.”
“I assume that under the framework that we’re currently preparing, that we’ll see that recognition of Israel and a Jewish state, as the nation state of the Jewish people, will appear in the framework,” he added.
“And in the end, we’ll need to know that this is the end of the conflict, and that’s one way of verifying that… that everyone in the region and all of [Israel’s] neighbors will accept that there is a nation state of the Jewish people here, in the Jewish homeland.”
Shapiro’s comments come a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held more than two hours of “constructive” talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace on Thursday, their second session in as many days.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed on July 29 after a nearly three-year break. At the time, Kerry said, “Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months.”
As that deadline has approached, US officials appear to have scaled back their ambitions, saying they are trying to forge a “framework for negotiations” as a first step though they still hope to hammer out a full agreement by April 29.
Israel’s demand on recognition of its Jewishness is a recent addition to its list of final-status issues to be resolved with the Palestinians in a negotiated settlement, and the ultra right-wing government has rapidly forced it to the top of agenda, making it all but a precondition for entering talks.
Palestinians have refused to recognize of Israel as a “Jewish state” because it would ultimately signify the end of the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces in 1948, as well as offer legitimacy to the discrimination of the remaining non-Jewish population within the 1948 borders.
Words, in the battle of Liberation are of prime importance, but in the age of Internet, where Cyber Battles are waged, between truth and falsehood, the use of the right word becomes more vital than ever.
We have observed how the word, “apartheid” has crept in and has been intensely used by many Palestinians and their supporters without much reflection upon the meaning, implications or outcome of such use.
The definition of “Apartheid”
1. An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
2. A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.
3. The condition of being separated from others; segregation.
Thus, the use of apartheid to describe “Israel”, the entity which was established by terror, planned ethnic cleansing and continues to practice slow genocide is extremely inappropriate, insufficient and falls very short from giving a complete and accurate portrait.
Calling “Israel” an Apartheid is a CONCEALMENT of Genocide
Calling the Zionist entity mere “apartheid”, i.e “separation”, would only serve in concealing the true genocidal nature of the Jewish state, and present it as a “normal” and “legitimate” political system with only few holes, some racist laws, and wrong policies which can be easily changed. Such use would promote the legitimization of this entity. From a legal aspect, crimes of apartheid does not carry the same weight in International Law as Crimes against Humanity, thus it may be harder to prosecute.
Campaigning to demand that the existing Jewish state, would change some of its policies (rather than to call for its dismantling and delegitimisation, to end this entity, once and for all) would simply enable the usurpation of historic Palestine.
Calling for ODS (one democratic state, as a continuation of “Israel”), while ignoring the right of Palestinians to FULL LIBERATION, would enable the Zionist entity to expand and enlarge its boundaries, to encompass the ENTIRE land of Palestine, by annexing what remains of Palestine.
Calling for “equal rights” between mass-murderers and their victims, means willful participation in wiping out the Palestinian Identity, under “Israeli” authority thus promoting giving Palestinians “Israeli” citizenship, which means unwittingly promoting the “Israelization” of what remains of Palestinians, i.e upgrading their state from “occupied Palestinians” to “Israeli slaves”.
I call upon our people and our supporters to be alert and not to participate in whitewashing the crimes of the Jewish state, by calling it an “apartheid” rather than what it really is, a genocidal, supremacist, expansionist, ethnic-cleansing entity.
The Genocide Convention
Article 2 of the United Nations issued Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states:
“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:
1. Killing members of the group; [Israel ...guilty]
2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; [Israel ...guilty]
3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; [Israel ...guilty]
4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [Israel ...guilty]
5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Article 4 states:
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”
The Sanhedrin Principles:
- Wars of aggression . . . NO PROBLEM
“A king should not wage other wars before a milchemet mitzvah. What is considered as milchemet mitzvah? The war against the seven nations who occupied Eretz Yisrael, the war against Amalek, and a war fought to assist Israel from an enemy which attacks them.
Afterwards, he may wage a milchemet hareshut, (war of aggression) i.e. a war fought with other nations in order to expand the borders of Israel or magnify its greatness and reputation.“
- Extermination . . . NO PROBLEM
Mishneh Torah, Chapter 1, Halacha 2:
“Amalek’s seed should be annihilated before the construction of the Temple”
6) The obligation to destroy the seven nations living in the Land of Canaan;
7) The prohibition against allowing any one of them to remain alive;
8) The obligation to destroy the descendents of Amalek;
9) The obligation to remember what Amalek did;
- Subjugation and Enslavement . . . NO PROBLEM
“If the enemy accepts the offer of peace and commits itself to the fulfillment of the seven mitzvot that were commanded to Noah’s descendents, none of them should be killed. Rather, they should be subjugated as ibid.:11 states: ‘They shall be your subjects and serve you.’
If they agree to tribute, but do not accept subjugation or if they accept subjugation, but do not agree to tribute, their offer should not be heeded. They must accept both.
The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble. They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.”
BETHLEHEM – Israel’s pressure on Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state is an attempt to legalize “racism,” a PLO official said Saturday.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said defining Israel as a Jewish state would signify that any Jewish person would have the right to return to Palestine, while Palestinians would lose that right.
Ashrawi told Ma’an that Israel wants to “create a narrative that denies the Palestinian presence, rights, and continuity on the historic Palestinian lands.”
A “Jewish state” recognition would exempt Israel from its responsibility toward the Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their homes in 1948, she said.
Similarly, a former Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset said that recognizing Israel as such a state would “annul the Palestinian narrative about the Nakba.”
It would abolish the right of the refugees to return, said Talab al-Sani.
During US-mediated peace talks with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly cited recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for peace.
It is the “minimal requirement for peace,” Netanyahu told the Saban Forum on Middle East policy in Washington on Dec. 8.
There would be peace, Netanyahu said, if “there were no longer any Palestinian national claims on the Jewish state — no right of return … no residual claims of any kind. And that, the Palestinians have so far been unwilling to give.”
More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.8 million including their descendants — were forced into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.
Palestinian officials have repeatedly said that recognizing the concept of Israel as a “Jewish state” is unnecessary and threatens the rights of nearly 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of Israel who remained in their homes during the displacement of the majority of the Palestinian population during the 1948 war.
The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land is enshrined in article 11 of UN resolution 194.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
Interview with Mauro Manno
By Giovanna Canzano – 06/01/2009
CANZANO – Jews “Über alles”. Since 1948, with the birth of the state of Israel, we can see, from reading various papers, the Jewish presence in every sector of cultural and economic life: guides and wise men and “righteous men”?
MANNO – I wouldn’t say “Jews Über alles” but rather “Zionists über Alles”. Today this distinction is fundamental. I’ve been studying the politics of Zionism for years now and can say with certainty that the confusion over this point is not only erroneous, historically and politically, but it is also unfair towards those many Jews who had been the victims of Zionism. Even today there are Jews who are victims of Zionism. A few of these new victims I know personally and it doesn’t seem to me that they are “über Alles”, but instead they are certainly under Zionist scrutiny. They are ostracised, they lose their university positions such as happened to Norman Finkelstein, the author of “The Holocaust Industry” or they get isolated and put in conditions where they leave not only their university post, but also their loved ones and friends in Israel and emigrate in the West, as happened to Ilan Pappe, the author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. These Jews suffer because they have the courage of proclaiming that they are anti-Zionists. This act of revolt against Zionism doesn’t constitute only the repudiation of that political ideology, but also the rejection of the historical consequences that its victory has had, that is, the Jewish State, Israel as a Jewish State. The anti-Zionists wish for the end of the state of Israel as it has been built by the Zionists and they fight for its substitution with a single, democratic state for all the Jews and all the Palestinians who are within the whole of Palestine, that is, within Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gaza included.
But that is not all; they also support the Right of Return of the refugees forced to leave in 1948, just as is sanctioned by UN Resolution 194, which was voted upon exactly 60 years ago (11 December 1948) but never applied.
However, there is an important point to make! Whoever knows the fate of these new victims of Zionism, the anti-Zionist Jews, must not forget the much more tragic fate reserved for the assimilationist Jews during the Second World War. They too were against Zionism, and they too were the victims of Zionism. This is the part of their story that the Zionists want to keep absolutely hidden. The Zionist battle against assimilationist Jews, conducted in collaboration with the Nazis and the anti-Semites.
Anything but “righteous men”, the Zionists are the political men who are the least righteous at all, towards other Jews and non-Jews alike.
CANZANO – Who are the Jewish assimilationists?
MANNO – Jewish assimilationists were those Jews who wanted to assimilate, become part of the population in the country they were born in. According to Rabbinic law, Halacha is the Jew who is son or daughter of a Jewish woman or someone who converts to Judaism. Jewishness is therefore transmitted by way of blood, from mother to son or daughter. For other religions, this is not the case: the Christianity of a Catholic or the Islam of a Muslim is not transmitted by way of blood. To conserve this Jewish peculiarity, it is fundamental towards the conservation of Judaism in general that the family does not have any mixed marriages, with non-Jews. If a Jew (not born in Israel) believes that the fact of being the child of a Jewish mother does not make him Jewish, if he rejects the Jewish religion, if he considers himself a free human being that can chose another religion or no religion at all, if he wants to live without the weight of the Jewish past of his family, then he is an assimilationist. He wants to leave the closed Jewish world and enter into the world that is more open and free that he finds outside the Jewish one. So, this person would have totally adopted the culture, language, lifestyle, cuisine, tradition, etc., of the country in which he lives. He would adopt its destiny as well. He wouldn’t feel obligated to marry a Jewish woman and in that way according to Halacha, his children would no longer be Jews. If he educates his children in the spirit in which he himself has lived, and his children also have mixed marriages, and their children and so on, after a few generations, his descendants will no longer be Jews, but they will be Italians, Germans, French, etc., in every way, shape and form. The Zionist Jabotinsky, who obviously abhorred assimilation said, “to read true assimilation… [the Jew] would have to produce, through a long series of mixed marriages, in a period of various decades, a grandson of a grandson of a grandson within whose veins runs only a slight trace of Jewish blood, because that grandson of a grandson of a grandson will have the spiritual conformation of a true Frenchman or a true German.” Mixed marriage is at the base of assimilation. Before the Second World War, mixed marriages were in strong progression, for example, in 1929 in Germany, they constituted 59% of the marriages, and pure marriages,with both of the spouses being Jewish was a 41% minority. That frightened the Zionists, who considered assimilationists something like traitors. When the Nazis came to power, the International Zionist organisations broke their necks to collaborate with them and they even made pacts with them to allow only the emigration of Zionists outside of Germany (recovering their belongings) and sending them to the Palestinian colonies. The assimilationist Jews did not interest them and they were left to their own fate. The Zionists did nothing so that the assimilationist Jews could emigrate to America or to other Western states, as a matter of fact, they blocked any efforts in this direction. Later, during the war, they extended this policy to the rest of Europe. There were killings and massacres of Jews and they were dealing only in order to save those who were Zionists and who would emigrate to Palestine, all the rest could simply be left to die. The example of Rezso Kasztner is illuminating. This Hungarian Zionist in 1944 bartered the salvation of his family and those belonging to various Hungarian Zionist organisations, 1,600 persons in all, in exchange for his collaboration and that of his followers in order to facilitate the deportation to Auschwitz of hundreds of thousands of assimilationist Jews.
This policy has facilitated the near extinction of non-Zionist Jews, those on the road towards assimilation. The Zionists share responsibility, together with the Nazis, of this crime. This is the reason for which most of the Jews of the Diaspora declare themselves to be Zionists and they generally marry only other Jews.
CANZANO – Are you saying there was an ethnic cleansing of Jews conducted by other Jews?
MANNO – I would hold that term, “ethnic cleansing” to describe what the Zionists did to the Palestinians in 1948. They had cleared Palestine of its antique inhabitants, as Ilan Pappe has carefully demonstrated in his recent book, the title of which refers to the ethnic cleansing. I would instead say that there was a will of the Zionists to rid themselves of non-Zionist Jews. I had spoken of the shared responsibility of the Zionists with the Nazis. It was [left to] the Nazis to bring them to their deaths, while the Zionists collaborated at various levels with the killers. During the Second World War, the Zionists, in some cases, had even killed directly, most of the time they had denounced other Jews, they often helped run the concentration camps, they had convinced the assimilationists to stay in their place, to not rebel, all of that in exchange for the salvation of their Zionist followers, their friends and their families. Regarding their followers, it is essential to note that the Zionist leaders didn’t even work on saving them all, but only the young ones, that is, those who could engage in armed combat (in prevision of a war against the English and the Palestinians), in other words, those who could work towards the development of the colonies, those who could bear children. The old people and small children only would have been an encumbrance. In 1937 Chaim Weizmann, future President of Israel, before the Peel Commission in London coldly declared: “I want to save… the young [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They were dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world…Only the branch of the young shall survive…They have to accept it.” And, remember, this is a Zionist speaking. Ben Gurion, speaking in ’38 of children (children of Zionists and non-Zionists) said, “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England and only half of them by transporting them to Palestine I would choose the second.” Ben Gurion knew that if the assimilationists and persons of good will would have wanted to choose between “saving Jews from Concentration Camps” and Zionism, “mercy” would have “had the upper hand and the whole energy of the people would be channelled into saving Jews from various countries;” then Zionism “will be struck off the agenda not only in world public opinion, in Britain and in the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion.” For the Zionists this absolutely could not be allowed to happen and they did everything possible so that it did not happen. Just think that when someone said to Yitzhak Gruenbaum, leader of the Rescue Committee (!) of the Jewish Agency in Palestine, in 1943 when the killings started said, “Don’t build new colonies (…) send money save Jews in the Diaspora,” he responded: “Zionism is above everything.” On another occasion, still in 1943, he stated, “one cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe.” So, it was in this way that the Zionists, allying themselves with the Nazis, saved themselves, while the non-Zionists were eliminated as a direct result of that alliance. And today the Zionists dominate over all the Jews and they greatly influence the Western governments. They determine American foreign policy (see the book by Mearsheimer and Walt). And for this, reason, Israel is untouchable and can do anything it wants to and not only to the Palestinians… but here we are touching upon the problem of the Zionist lobby.
CANZANO – Zionist lobby?
MANNO – To make it understandable, let us take the example of the Zionist lobby in America, which is the strongest Zionist lobby in the West. In the race for the American presidency, everyone had to see both Obama and his vice, Biden and the two losers McCain and Palin, run to genuflect before the organisation of the strongest of the lobbies, AIPAC. This had been foreseen by Mearsheimer and Walt and it happened without delay. The two candidates have been forced to undergo an accurate examination before the judges of the lobby concerning their proposals regarding Israel and to the command posts that would be willing to pass to Zionists (Jews or non-Jews) in their future administration. Everyone will remember how Obama was able to catch his rival off balance proclaiming that he supported the line of “a sole and indivisible Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish State.” McCain didn’t go quite so far. This line is officially condemned by the international community on the basis of a series of UN resolutions. Israel continues in its expulsion of the Palestinians (many of them Christians) of the Holy City and the West pretends nothing is happening while at the same time maintaining the official position of the UN. Now Obama, the “man of peace” has gone closer to the side of Israel than any other president has yet done. It seemed in the beginning that the determinant support of the lobby was going to go towards McCain, but then something changed. It is necessary to recall that Obama’s vice, Joe Biden, as soon as he was nominated declared himself to be “an ardent Zionist! And I would not be surprised if it was the Lobby itself that had imposed Biden on Obama. Then Obama was able to give secure guarantees, favours (and money) of the lobby all flowed his way. It was a formidable coup for the Zionists. Now the lobby will have a pro-Israel policy and a pro-Israel lobby pushed forward by a popular president and not by a shadow of Bush. The Western politicians can also make their own policies more pro-Israel and pro-USA (which is the same) without clashing as much with public opinion. The pacifist movement is completely shattered. Certainly, quite soon Obama will destroy his image of the new man, becoming like Rice or Powell, the black man that is used to serve the interests of the lobby, but this means nothing to the lobby, and why should it if they are able to get just what they want? In reality the image of Obama is already sullied. The choice of Clinton for Secretary of State, the choice of Rahm Emanuel (whose father declared that he detests Arabs and he is sure that his son will work in favour of Israel) are just the first signs. The lobby was able to obtain something else as well. After the domination that Bush had given to another wing of the lobby, to the discredited neo-cons (almost all of them Jewish), the Zionists strategists figured out how to have the same policies be carried out by non-Jews, but ones who are of proven Zionist faith. Thus, after Biden, we see the re-emergence of Clinton (with whom Obama once had clashes regarding foreign policy, and now we see him entrust that ministry to her). Hillary is another Zionist that will bring to the Secretary of State office the Jewish team her husband had: Madeleine Albright, Holbrooke, Dennis Ross, etc. The same politics of the Jewish neo-cons but officially carried out by non-Jews. The non-Jewish Zionists are fortunately very few but they are the worst traitors of their country and they send young Americans to war so that Israel can be strengthened, which is what happened in Iraq. Even we Europeans have our Zionist lobby. Let’s not harbour any illusions there.
CANZANO – There is a Zionist lobby in Europe?
MANNO – The Zionist lobby can be found anywhere in the world where there are Zionists. If they were all in Israel it would all be so simple, but there is the Diaspora and among the Jews of the Diaspora there are many Zionists. This was already in the program of the First Zionist Congress (1897) that the Zionists of the Diaspora would have to take the preparatory steps “towards obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary in order to reach the goals of Zionism.” And that is what they have been able to do. Today, after the birth of Israel, the American Zionist lobby and the various national lobbies always serve the “goals of Zionism”, that however are not the same as those when the task at hand was founding the Jewish State. 60 years since its foundation, Israel does not yet have a solid base. Its existence as a “Jewish State” is taken to task and it is maintained only with the use of force. Being an ethnic state that occupied other people’s land and oppresses the Palestinians, without any respect for international law, it is well aware that it is an illegitimate state. The lobby has the task of “making it legitimate” at least in the eyes of the West. Europe, at least on a formal level, has been involved in the Middle East in a position of equilibrium between Arabs and Israelis. We have major interests in the Arab world. In 2004 there have been the first changes. The EU Council approved the “EU-Israel Action Plan” and in spite of the horrifying record of Israel in the area of human rights, the Plan declared that “The EU and Israel share the same values of democracy, respect for human rights and sovereignty of law and the fundamental freedoms.” This is absolutely false and I am prepared to demonstrate it. However the Plan gets worse: it gives Israel the possibility of “participating in key aspects of EU policies and programmes.” We will become a Zionist colony.
Since 2006 the position of Europe has further changed. First there was a softening of criticism of Israel. That took place by pressure from a special “Jewish American Committee for Europe”. Within that group we find AIPAC, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the American Jewish Congress, which has distinguished itself from the others. Responding in a positive way on behalf of Europe as first Prodi, then Ferrero-Waldner and now Barroso. Before 2000 the EU expected Israel to pay for the damage caused within the Occupied Territories with European money and now, after Ferrero-Waldner and Barroso, the territories don’t get anything. Today in the European Parliament there is a group of approximately 200 parliament members called “European Friends of Israel” who work for Tel Aviv. This effort is sustained by Jewish businessmen everywhere in the continent as well as Jews who have been elected in the various parliaments such as, in Italy, Fiamma Nierenstein and the lawyer Alessandro Ruben. Lastly, with the French EU presidency of the Jewish Zionist (he himself declared this) Nicolas Sarkozy and the constitution of the Mediterranean Union, Zionism is now very close to obtaining the acceptance and the legitimisation of Israel in the Arab world, through Europe. Be very careful, this is not a peace policy, as the European governors keep saying. If there is the realisation of Arab legitimisation, Israel will have their hands free for a military policy, against Iran, against Hezbollah and the Palestinians, with the blessings of the Arab countries. In this framework, the Palestinian State will be a series of tiny Bantustans that are completely surrounded, just like Gaza. Only the economic crisis of the West can stop the conflict.
CANZANO – So, Israel is not a democratic State?
MANNO – No. No, it is not. It is an ethnocratic state. A Jews-only state. Democracy in the Jewish State is only valid for Jews. For non-Jews it is a farce. Let’s try to imagine for a moment that in a multi-ethnic country in which there is a colonial administration, a party that represents a particular ethnic group has in mind, once colonialism has ended, to constitute a democratic state over the entire country, but to kick out all the other ethnic groups. How can we say that the programme that this party has is a democratic one? For me it’s a racist programme based on ethnic cleansing.
Now, let’s try to imagine that once the phase of colonialism has ended, this party is allowed to make it’s own state by only on part of the territory in the country and on the condition that even on that territory there are no expulsions made on an ethnic basis. It instead happened that the state was founded immediately after the expulsion of the majority of its inhabitants on behalf of the minority, according to its initial racist programme. It’s a democratic state but democracy is supposed to involve the entire population, not just the minority that has undertaken an ethnic cleansing. Now we see that institutions that represent international law (the UN for example) are asking this ethnic state to reintegrate those who had been expelled and to give them equal democratic rights. In response, this “democratic” state (only for the ethnic group it represents) refuses to do it, instead it perseveres with its initial programme of wanting to conquer the entire territory of the country and to colonise it with people of its same ethnic group that are brought in from other countries. This new expansion and this new ethnic cleansing do not happen in a haphazard way, but rather is sanctioned within the founding documents of the “democratic” state. For example, within them we see that the entire territory of the country belongs to all of those who are members of the right ethnic group wherever they are to be found and do not on the other hand belong to those who had been expelled just prior to the foundation of the ethnic state. Is this still a democratic state?
And that is not all. Let’s imagine that in this ethnic state there has been a small minority of the wrong ethnic group that has survived. It’s a minority with a demographic growth that constitutes nearly a quarter of the entire population. These persons are treated like second-class citizens, in economic activities, before the law, in daily life, and so on, where they have to undergo a thousand kinds of discrimination. The worst discrimination concerns the possession of land. The state has secured for itself, with another founding law by the ethnic “democracy”, that 93% of the country’s land has to stay in the hands of the right ethnic group. The sale of terrain (and that includes any property that is built upon it) is allowed only between people of this ethnic group. It is however possible to purchase new land in that 7% that was left to the minority ethnic group, in such as way so as to expand the property of the right ethnic group. Is it still a democratic state?
When confronted with these discriminations, the ethnic state concedes a limited voting right and a limited right to criticise for the discriminated minority group. Are these political rights enough when put next to the thousand discriminations to make this a democratic state?
I can already hear the defenders of Israel, because that is what we are talking about, object and protest against my last affirmation on the limited political rights of the Palestinian majority. Instead, that is only the way it is. Think about the fact that in Israel it is prohibited to challenge the Jewish character of the state. It is prohibited to found parties that have as a programme proposing a different kind of state, not an ethnic one, but one for all its citizens. It is prohibited to fight for the application of UN Resolution 194 that imposes the right of return of the Palestinians who had been expelled. It is prohibited to fight for the abolition of the founding law of the state that says that Palestine belongs to all the Jews of the world and in any moment any one of them may come to Palestine to occupy property that the army of the Jewish state has seen to taking away from some Palestinian of the Occupied Territories. Is this still a democratic state? Then it is established that Catholic citizens (whatever that term comes to mean now) cannot sell property to Jews, Protestants, et al., so that the land of Italy will be concentrated more and more in Catholic hands. Non-Catholics will have the right to vote, but in such a way so as to not endanger the “Catholic” character of the state. Could Italy still call itself democratic under those conditions? And I have to remind those who defend Israel that the Jews in Italy are not a quarter of the population as the Palestinians in Israel are. I remind them as well that if things continue in this direction, there is the risk not only of an ethnocratic state of Israel, but that it actually becomes a theocratic state, taking into consideration the growing importance of religious parties in Israeli politics.
CANZANO – In relation to what has already been said in this interview, what would your explanation be for the furious Israeli attack against Gaza?
MANNO – If we look at what’s happening in Gaza now within the historical framework that in some way we have traced in this interview, we must conclude that this is nothing less than a further step ahead in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. If Israel wanted to come to a compromise with the Palestinians regarding a Palestinian state, well, there were no shortage of opportunities. The supporters of Israel insist that it was the Palestinian side that would not accept the division of Palestine in 1948. But, who would have accepted such a thing? What nation would have accepted the division of its own territory imposed from on high, even from the UN (which at the time, bear in mind, was constituted of only a quarter of the current states and it was under control of the US and USSR). If then the UN would have imposed also the application of UN Resolution 194, which asked Israel to allow the Palestinians cast off forcefully to be able to return, then things would have gone quite differently. But Israel rejected the Resolution, as it was sure of the support of the USA, which was already under the heavy influence of the American Zionist lobby. It did much more, actually. It assassinated the UN mediator Folke Bernadotte who was elaborating a new policy at the time.
Israel wanted an ethnically pure state and nothing else would suffice. This is Zionism. After the 1967 war, Israel would not accept Resolution 242 either, which imposed the withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories. Instead, against all international law, it started to colonise these territories. Israel would accept no compromise during the Oslo Agreements and it still today forges ahead with colonisation. In 2002 the Arab states offered the recognition of Israel in exchange for the withdrawal of Israel to the confines of 1967, but Israel refused, started the construction of the wall that has claimed vast parts of the Occupied Territories from which the Palestinian population is slowly but surely being expelled from, and it still carries on with the construction of settlements and the suffocation of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem.
Translated by Tlaxcala
By Phillip F. Tourney | January 17, 2009
I have heard it for the entirety of my 61 years of life, Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. In fact, in recent memory I have heard this phrase more than I’ve heard ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ or even ‘Have a Good 4th.
Israel seems to exist quite well. Her people have a very high living standard compared to the rest of the world. Israel has the most sophisticated armed forces in the Middle East, if indeed not the world. According to one of our former presidents, Israel is said to possess several hundred nuclear weapons and if we are to believe some of the things said by Israel’s leaders in recent years she is ready to destroy mankind if her leaders choose to do so.
Israeli’s live a very good life style, second to none. A swimming pool in every back yard on stolen land, plenty of food, jobs, stocks, cash, you name it. Their quality of life continues to grow and prosper every month of every year.
Now what I have a problem with is this–doesn’t the United States of America also have a ‘Right to Exist’?
Yes we do, but unfortunately that right is being taken away from us every second, every minute, every hour, every month and every year and all for the sake of Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. What’s wrong with this story? Well, I’ll explain what’s wrong with it and believe me, its not that hard to figure out.
Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ has virtually bankrupted the United States, and all of it off the backs of hard-working Americans for the last sixty years. We’ve given Israel untold billions of dollars NEVER TO BE REPAID, to say nothing of the military hardware in the billions we (I should say the United States) just flat-out gives them, including free training for their fighter pilots.
The United States continues to supply Israel with cash payments every day in the millions of dollars, and remember–THIS IS BORROWED MONEY. Do you understand this my fellow Americans? We borrow money for the sake of Israel but yet we do not barrow it for the sake and safety of our own citizens. This money must be paid back by us our children, their children and their children and this cycle will never be broken until the Untied States gives up its passionate attachment to the Jewish state.
Our sons and daughters are paying a very heavy price in Iraq. 4000+dead, tens of thousands wounded so badly that their lives will never be the same and who knows when it will end.
The United States is fighting this war in Iraq all for the sake of Israel. Americans getting killed, wounded and us spending billions of tax dollars we don’t have, and for what? Let me remind you, in case you have forgotten–FOR ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST.
The ugly truth is that the United States can’t take much more. It is bending to the very breaking point of no return, and now the war drums beat once again in Israel that we must attack Iran or they will. When Israel spouts this aggression the gas prices go up and up, along with the price of food and just about everything else we need so that America can exist. It is a heavy burden on the American people, Israel’s benefactors. Many in this country are losing their homes, their jobs and can’t even afford food and all because they gave everything they had for Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’.
This year the United States has gone through so many natural disasters it boggles the mind. One after the other–fire, floods, tornadoes, you name it and we’ve had it and up to our collective eyeballs. And through all of this, where has America’s greatest ally been? I haven’t seen Israel hand over a red cent to this country when it was in need. Israel could care less about us, their benefactors the USA. If we were broke and down to our last cent, you can bet the ranch that Israel would demand it go into her coffers and God help any politician who would vote against it.
But then, why do we even bother discussing such business as politicians voting in America’s best interest? It goes without saying that when Israel wants something she gets it, no strings attached from a subservient President and congress.
It’s time we cut this step child Israel loose and let her make it on their own. No more wars for Israel. No more money, no more nothing. If Israel wants money let her people earn it. If they want a war LET THEM FIGHT IT ON THEIR OWN. NO MORE AMERICAN BLOOD OR TREASURE SPENT ON ISRAEL’S ‘RIGHT TO EXIST’.
For those who think I am wet behind the ears on this one, think twice–I know all too well what Israel thinks about Americans, because 41 years ago I saw them murder my shipmates in cold blood with no remorse in their black hearts or in their vacant souls. Their entire war machine was bought and paid for– you guessed it–by you, the people of the United States and they used that to murder America’s sons.
History will repeat itself if the Government doesn’t wise up soon, and they won’t unless they hear from you, me and the rest of the American public as we demand no more free rides for any country, and especially not Israel. America has its own ‘Right to Exist’ and no one, not even the Jewish state, should come before our own family and friends.
Survivor, USS Liberty June 8 1967
“You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.”
Leviticus, Chapter 26, verses 7-9
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations… then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.”
“…do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them… as the Lord your God has commanded you…”
Gilad Atzmon | January 8, 2009
There is not much doubt amongst Biblical scholars that the Hebrew Bible contains some highly charged non-ethical suggestions, some of which are no less than a call for a genocide. Biblical scholar Raymund Schwager has found in the Old Testament 600 passages of explicit violence, 1000 descriptive verses of God’s own violent actions of punishment, 100 passages where God expressly commands others to kill people. Apparently, violence is the most often mentioned activity in the Hebrew Bible.
As devastating as it may be, the Hebrew Bible saturation with violence and extermination of others may throw some light over the horrifying genocide conducted momentarily in Gaza by the Jewish state. In broad daylight, the IDF is using the most lethal methods against civilians as if their main objective is to ‘destroy’ the Gazans while showing ‘no mercy’ whatsoever.
Interestingly enough, Israel regards itself as a secular state. Ehud Barak is not exactly a qualified Rabbi and Tzipi Livni is not a Rabbi’s wife. Accordingly, we are entitled to assume that it isn’t actually Judaism per se that directly transforms Israeli politicians and military leaders into war criminals. Moreover, early Zionists believed that within a national home Jews would become ‘people like all other people’, i.e., civilised and ethical. In that very respect, Israeli reality is pretty peculiar. The Hebraic secular Jews may have managed to drop their God, most of them do not follow Judaic law, they are largely secular, and yet they collectively interpret their Jewish identity as a genocidal mission. They have successfully managed to transform the Bible from being a spiritual text into a bloodsoaked land registry. They are there, in Zion i.e., Palestine, to invade the land and to lock up, starve and destroy its indigenous habitants. Accordingly, it seems as if the artillery commanders and IAF pilots that erased northern Gaza two nights ago were following Deuteronomy 20:16 they indeed did “.. not leave alive anything that breathes.” And yet, one question is left open. Why should a secular commander follow Deuteronomy verses or any other Biblical text?
Some very few sporadic Jewish voices within the left are insisting upon telling us that Jewishness is not necessarily inherently murderous. I tend to believe them that they themselves consider their words as genuine and truthful. But then one may wonder, what is it that makes the Jewish state brutal with no comparison? The truth of the matter is actually pretty sad. As far as we can see, Zionism is the only secular ideological and political Jewish collective around and as it happens, it has proved once again this week that it is genocidal to the bone.
As far as genocide is concerned the difference between Judaism and Zionism can be illustrated as follows: while the Judaic Biblical context is soaked with genocidal references, usually in the name of God, within the Zionist context, Jews are killing Palestinians in the name of themselves i.e., the ‘Jewish people’. This is indeed the ultimate success of the Zionist revolution. It taught the Jews to believe in themselves. To believe in the Jewish state. ‘The Israeli’ is Israel’s God. Accordingly, the Israeli kills in the name of ‘his or her security’, in the name of ‘his or her democracy’. The Israelis destroy in the name of ‘their war against terror’ and in the name the ‘their America’. Seemingly, in the Jewish state, the Hebraic subject reverts to mass killing as soon as he finds a ‘name’ to associate with.
This doesn’t really leave us too much room for speculation. The Jewish state is the ultimate threat to humanity and our notion of humanism. Christianity, Islam and humanism came along with an attempt to amend Jewish tribal fundamentalism and to replace it with universal ethics. Enlightenment, liberalism and emancipation allowed Jews to redeem themselves from their ancient tribal supremacist traits. Since the mid 19th century, many Jews had been breaking out of their cultural and tribal chain. Tragically enough, Zionism managed to pull many Jews back in. Currently, Israel and Zionism are the only collective voice available for Jews.
The last twelve days of merciless offensive against the Palestinian civilian population does not leave any room for doubt. Israel is the gravest danger to world peace. Clearly the nations made a tragic mistake in 1947 giving a volatile racially orientated identity an opportunity to set itself into a national state. However, the nations’ duty now is to peacefully dismantle that state before it is too late. We must do it before the Jewish state and its forceful lobbies around the world manage to pull us all into a global war in the ‘name’ of one banal populist ideology or another (democracy, war against terror, cultural clash and so on). We have to wake up now before our one and only planet is transformed into a bursting boil of hatred.
There are so many words written about the “root causes” of the Arab-Israeli conflict, you might think the underlying issue is difficult to understand. But you’d be wrong. For all the mythology that interested parties want to wrap this conflict in, it’s really not difficult at all to understand the confrontation that has been going on in Palestine for more than a century now. All you have to do is try to imagine that what happened to Palestine happened instead here in the U.S. Then ask yourself, “What would Americans do in this position?”. And at that point, you find it miraculously stops being difficult to understand.
The problem with this approach is that American Exceptionalism has left us barely able to imagine being in other people’s shoes. So we explain the world to ourselves through ridiculous platitudes like we’re good and they’re evil, that actually explain nothing and leave us as confused as when we started. We just don’t do empathy very well.
But let’s try anyway. Let’s try imagining that what has been going on in Palestine for the last 100 years is going on instead here in the U.S., right now.
According to Wikipedia, Jewish Americans currently comprise about 2.5% of the population of the United States. Imagine that tomorrow morning some well-financed and politically connected Zionists in Europe will announce to you – the American people – they are going to build a “Jewish state”. Americans aren’t known for being overly-curious about what goes on in the rest of the world, so probably wouldn’t really care one way or another about what Zionists in Europe are up to. In fact, you might well just shrug your shoulders and say “well, good luck with that”, right up until the moment they tell you that they’re going to build it … here, in the United States.
After picking yourself up off the floor, you might point out to them that the U.S. is already populated thank you very much, and that 97.5% of that population happens not to be Jewish. And that those 97.5% are going to be very strongly opposed to the suggestion that a minority, sectarian state – which automatically excludes them from equal citizenship solely because they don’t have a Jewish mom – should be forcibly imposed on them.
At first, your Zionist interlocutors might respond with some really bizarre justifications for what they’re proposing to do to you. They tell you that Canada is right next door, and suggest you should leave your home and go and live there instead. They tell you that Canadians speak English, just like Americans; and Canada was settled by the British, just like the U.S., so you’d really be just as much at home there as in the U.S. And Canada’s huge, there’s plenty of room for you to relocate there!
Then, when they can tell you’re not really buying these arguments about why you should vacate the only home you’ve ever had and live instead in some place you’ve never been to in the frozen north, they tell you it really doesn’t matter what you think as you’re not going to be consulted anyway. They have powerful foreign allies and enough firepower to create the “Jewish state” in America whether you like it or not, and so they do… by expelling about half of the U.S population to Canada and inviting Jewish immigrants to live in their vacated homes, and by disenfranchising most of those indigenous Americans who stubbornly remain.
Imagine if that happened here. And imagine if it went on happening for 100 years, because the sheer persistence of the remaining non-Jewish population meant that their numbers had to be constantly culled in order to maintain the sectarian regime’s preferred “demographic balance”. What do you think those 97.5% of Americans who are excluded from equal citizenship just because they have the “wrong” ethnic-religious background are going to think of the sectarian regime that can exist in their homeland only through their own continuing dispossession? What do you think they might do? What do you think this sectarian state in America will end up looking like?
I know exactly what it would look like. It would look just like this:
An injured Palestinian is helped from the rubble following an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008. (Hatem Omar, AP)
Religious Jews from the volunteer ZAKA organization collect body parts at the blood-stained scene of a Palestinian suicide bombing February 4, 2008 in the southerm Israeli town of Dimona. (David Silverman/Getty Images)
A sectarian state of America, existing in a land where many different kinds of people live, but granting the full benefits of citizenship to only one of them, would look just like this, and no American would find it difficult to understand why. If the great Zionist experiment were happening at our expense, we would not find this conflict to be complicated, nor would we be inventing silly stories about alleged ontological defects in non-Jewish Americans to explain why so many people are dead, why our conflict is seemingly endless, and why our homeland looks like a moonscape. If this were happening to us, we would understand perfectly well that it is absurd to establish a “Jewish state” in a land where 2.5% of the population is Jewish, and to expect that the disenfranchised 97.5% is going to be just fine with that.
And now, welcome to Palestine.
The analogy I’ve just outlined isn’t as far-fetched as you might assume. When the first Zionist settlers arrived in Palestine, they claimed they were settling “a land without a people for a people without a land”. But that wasn’t true. And we know it wasn’t true (quite apart from the testimony of the people who lived there) because starting in 1876, the Ottoman Empire compiled annual counts of the population in its subject provinces, including Palestine.
The Ottomans counted their subjects in order to tax them, and in order to conscript them. The really interesting thing is that under the Ottoman Turks your tax rate and your liability for military service were linked to your religion. Jewish and Christian subjects paid extra taxes, but their sons were exempt from military service. Muslim subjects didn’t pay the extra taxes, but their sons were liable for mandatory service in the army. So population counts in Palestine during the late Ottoman Empire didn’t record just the number of people there, they also recorded their religion. Which, for the purpose of countering Zionist mythology, is remarkably helpful.
So, let’s have a look at the official statistics of the Ottoman government, to see what the “empty land” of Palestine really looked like when the first Zionist settlers arrived there to pioneer their Jewish state. The information I’m posting is from The Population of Palestine: Population Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and The Mandate (Ch 1, Table 1.4D) by Prof Justin McCarthy (Columbia University Press, 1990):
The year of the first aliya was 1299 (Muslim calendar), or 1881/2 of the Common Era. And you can see at a glance that despite what you’ve been told, Palestine at that time was very far from being a land without a people. In fact, there were 462,465 people living in Palestine: 403,795 Muslims; 43,659 Christians; 15,011 Jews. In other words, Zionists were settling in a land where the pre-existing population was just 3.3 per cent Jewish, where a “Jewish state” could not possibly be established and maintained without the dispossession and disenfranchisement of those 96.7 per cent of the population that happen to have the “wrong” ethnic-religious origin, and where that dispossession would have to continue generation upon generation because of the majority population’s ability to replenish itself through its high birthrate.
And suddenly, my comparison with the U.S., with its tiny Jewish minority of 2.5%, and the question of how most Americans would react to the imposition of a minority, sectarian state in their midst, doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all.
Despite the endless propaganda we are subjected to, about Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims) being people who are “not like us”, whose values are inimical to our own, and with whom we are condemned to be engaged in an endless clash of civilizations, the conflict in Palestine is actually rooted in the fact that Palestinians are exactly like us.
Palestinians do not accept that equal citizenship in their own homeland should be denied them because of their ethnic/religious background, any more than Americans would accept ethnic justifications for denying them equal citizenship in the United States. Palestinians do not accept that a population that is 96.7% Muslim and Christian should be ethnically cleansed to make way for a sectarian Jewish state, any more than we would accept that the 97.5% of Americans who happen to be not-Jewish should be ethnically cleansed to make way for a Jewish state here. In short, Palestinians reject and resist Zionism because they do not accept being treated in ways that we, likewise, would never accept for ourselves.
This is not difficult to understand. And yet we wrap the Arab-Israeli conflict in complex, ontological constructs about “The Arab Mind”, about “Islamofascists” who “hate us for our freedoms”, and about mindless, irrational anti-Semites who hate Israel just because it’s Jewish and not because the overwhelmingly non-Jewish population there has to be destroyed in order to make it, and keep it, Jewish. Complicated existential explanations to hide the simple fact that the Palestinians are doing exactly what we would be doing if we found ourselves in their situation.
I understand that if you’re a Zionist you have a vested interest in not understanding all this, and in persuading others that it’s really very complicated. But for the rest of us, really, how difficult is this to grasp?
By Ghali Hassan | December 30, 2008
“It is our duty to back the State of Israel”
A common phrase used by major Jewish organisations.
At least 400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, were deliberately murdered and thousands are maimed and wounded when Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache attack helicopters began premeditated massive aerial bombing attacks on the densely populated and Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip on Saturday 27 December 2008. It was a classic act of Jewish (State) terrorism.
In order to inflict terror and maximum civilian casualties, the Israeli attacks begun during traffic police graduation ceremony and just as thousands of Palestinian school children were coming home from schools. Vital civilian infrastructures, including hospitals, mosques, houses, schools and universities, including women dormitories have been destroyed.
According to an independent eyewitness in Gaza, five innocent girls were killed in their sleep when Israeli helicopter attacked a mosque. “There is no such thing as precision strike in a densely populated Gaza”, said the eyewitness. Let’s be honest, the attacks against 1.5 million Palestinian civilians (mostly refugees), 750,000 of them are children, have nothing to do with “self-defence”. Israel is not “defending itself”; Israel is committing deliberate war crimes in violation of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Convention. The concentration camp has been under two-year-long total blockade. The blockade designed as a collective punishment (not peace) of the 1.5 million Palestinians and had already caused a humanitarian catastrophe before the anticipated Israel’s terror blitz.
The Israeli blockade policy in Gaza has effectively destroyed the economy and the living condition of the Palestinians. It had impoverished and starved the whole civilian population of Gaza. While this policy is illegal under International Humanitarian Law and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the U.S. and its European allies have encouraged Israel and Egypt to continue enforcing the blockade. The policy constitutes an indiscriminate collective punishment, a war crime and genocide. As a result, hundreds of innocent civilians have died in what Israeli leaders call “truce” (ceasefire) in which Israel practises violence and acts of terrorism with impunity. Israel broke the ceasefire in order to flex its muscle before Israel’s coming elections and to derail any prospect of peace. It was only after the Jewish State murdered 23 Palestinians that HAMAS fired the ineffective home-made Qassam rocket towards Israeli positions. Israeli Jewish leaders use HAMAS – the only democratically-elected people’s movement in the Arab World – as a pretext to justify terrorising the entire Palestinian population.
It is important to note that Israeli leaders would not have committed such heinous acts of terrorism without the full complicity and backing of the U.S. administration, the European governments, and the dictatorial regime of Egypt and Mahmoud Abbas’ thuggery. Palestinian leaders in Gaza have rightly accused the Egyptian brutal dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and collaborators in the Palestinian Authority of colluding with Israel against the Palestinian in Gaza. Indeed, the treacherous Egyptian regime – propped-up and financed by the U.S. – has been a willing complicit in the Gaza blockade. Just before the massacre took place, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Cairo to consult with the dictator of Egypt.
This is not the first time the Jews have committed acts of terrorism in Palestine. Historically, the Palestinian people have suffering under Jewish terrorism for more that sixty years. The Jewish State was founded by heinous aggression and war crimes in 1984. It is just that Jewish terrorism is deliberately covered-up and justified as “self-defence” by Western media. With the exception of a few honourable voices, condemning the subject of Jewish terrorism remains taboo.
Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and international law Professor at Princeton University was recently denied entry into Israel. He was accused of comparing the policies of the Jewish State with that of Nazi Germany. It is ironic, because comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany are very common in Israel itself.
However, Professor Falk chose his words carefully when he described Israel’s policies towards Palestinians as a “crime against humanity” that should be stopped by international action. Falk urged the UN to invoke “the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished.” He also called for an International Criminal Court investigation of Israeli military and civilian officials for potential prosecution. “The recent developments [the two-year-old blockade and other war crimes] in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy.” Falk was lucky. Other Americans who dared to criticise the Jewish State were destroyed by a single shot of “ant-Semitism” and lost their jobs before they have committed political suicide.
While the parallels between the Jewish State of Israel and Nazi Germany are frightening, they are not surprising. Zionism grew out of German National Socialisms (Nazism). There are few important differences: (1) Unlike Nazi Germany, Israeli war is entirely against defenceless innocent civilians population resisting the illegal occupation of their homeland; (2) Unlike Nazi Germany, in addition to its superb propaganda system, Israel is supported by a global propaganda campaign led by the like of the BBC, CNN, Fox News, the Murdoch Press, and other Western media outlets which works tirelessly to portray Israel as a victim and propagate Israel’s Zionfascist ideology; and (3) Unlike Nazi Germany, Israel – in addition to possessing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons – is unconditionally supported (financially, militarily and politically) by major Western powers, including the U.S. and Britain. In short, Israel is untouchable. Moreover, like Nazi Germany, the Jewish State of Israel is committing war crimes by a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing and extermination of a particular ethnic-religious group of people, the Palestinian people.
As Jean Ziegler, Professor of Sociology at the University of Geneva in Switzerland and a Member of UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee said recently; “Behind the headlines of military conflict and escalating [Israeli] violence, there is a continuing physical, social and psychological destruction of a whole and very ancient [Palestinian] society”. The West’s “never again” rhetoric that followed the Second World War seems to be applicable to Jews only. Isn’t it time for the “international Community” to implement its solemn rhetoric?
We know that unlike other peoples, Jews have repeatedly cited the “Jewish holocaust” to gain sympathy and to raise it as a tool to extort money and weapons and political support from Europeans. They have no sympathy for Palestinian victims and Palestinian suffering. Every time Israel commits mass murder of Palestinian women and children, Jews (with a few exceptions) around the world remain silent. In order to deflect attention from Israel’s terror, Israeli Jews and major Jewish organisations have been promoting and “exploiting the wave of Islamophobia [particularly] in the U.S. and Europe, to engage them in this war on the Palestinians, doing their part in suffocating, starving, and weakening the Palestinian people, as Israel caries its mission of destruction”, wrote the late Israeli scholar Tina Reinhart. They are complicit in the Jewish State’s crime against humanity.
A report published in July 2008 by the National and International Relations Department of Palestine in Ramallah revealed that the Israeli military killed 466 Palestinian citizens during military operations carried out in the Palestinian territories during the first half of 2008, including 75 children under the age of 18 and 23 women. At least 200 Palestinians have died as a result of the unjust collective punishment and blockade imposed on Gaza, preventing Palestinians from leaving to receive adequate treatment abroad. “A genocide is taking place in Gaza … an average of eight Palestinians die daily in the Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed”, wrote the Israeli scholar Ilan Pappe.
Furthermore, in the illegally Occupied Territories, Jewish settlers have unleashed new waves of terror attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron. On Thursday, settlers shot at Palestinians, set fire to homes and olive groves, and defaced mosques and graves after Israeli troops evicted a group of settlers from a disputed Palestinian-owned home near a biblical site. Persistent acts of terrorism by Israeli occupation soldiers and illegal Jewish settlers against the Palestinian farmers have destroyed millions of olive trees and farms decimating the livelihoods of Palestinians. “As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term ‘pogrom’ to describe what I have seen,” said the now discredited Israeli PM Ehud Olmert whose government is not only behind the policy of house demolishing but also behind the Jewish settlers’ terror against the Palestinians. In fact the Jewish settles are an effective weapon of the Jewish State to terrorise the Palestinians. The aim is to terrorise the Palestinian and forced them to leave their land.
As Palestinian houses are demolished, the illegal Jewish settlers’ population in the West Bank has grown three times higher than that of the rest of Israel during the past 12 years. An Israeli annual report shows that the illegal Jewish population in the West Bank more than doubled during that time, with a growth of 107 percent. The report also shows that the settler population has surged from 130,000 in 2005 to 270,000 by the end of 2007. Other illegal settlements in the West Bank have witnessed expansion between 50 per cent and 100 per cent of their areas in 1996.
Since 2007, more than 8,000 homes have been built in the West Bank and in the heart of annexed East Jerusalem, the capital of “future” Palestinian state, which is being intensively “Judaised”. Jewish extremist settlers are literally taking over Palestinian homes with impunity. A report by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) described the situation in the Israeli occupied West Bank as “reminiscent, in many and increasing ways, of the apartheid regime in South Africa”. The report also revealed that many of the 430 Palestinians killed and 1,150 wounded in the West Bank alone by Israeli soldiers and death squads in 2008 were innocent by standards.
A study published by the Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) said that the Israeli occupation increased the area of Jewish settlements in the West Bank by 85per cent between 1996 and 2007. The study added that Jewish settlements are the cornerstone of the Israeli policy of Judaizing the occupied Palestinian lands. According to the study the process building the Jewish settlements in various parts of the West Bank and in particular in the Jerusalem district started immediately after the occupation in June 1967 to impose changes on the ground in an attempt to get control of most of the occupied Palestinian lands.
The study concludes that the Israeli occupation seems to have no intention to stop the settlement activity as these settlements doubled since the Oslo accords. This is in addition to the thousands of Dunums of Palestinian lands being confiscated to build the Apartheid Wall and Jewish-only roads to serve the settlements and further isolating Palestinian communities from one another and limiting the expansion of Palestinian towns and villages.
The illegal expropriation of Palestinian lands and the building of Jewish-only settlements have continue thanks to massive injection of fund and investment by wealthy individual Jews and Jewish organisations in the US, Australia and Europe. For example, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a global corporation, had illegally expropriated most of the land of 372 Palestinian villages, which had been ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces in 1948, to build exclusively Jewish settlements. Like many wealthy Jews, Joseph Gutnick, an Australian wealthy Jew has poured millions into building Jewish settlements on expropriated Palestinian land with Israel’s blessing. Of course, Israel continues to use all kinds of terrorist acts to dispossess the Palestinian people of their lands.
Instead of being sanctioned to stop violating international law and the Geneva Convention, Israel is being rewarded by the U.S. and Europe with closer economic, academic, trade and defence links and privileges. “All we hear is a hollow laugh coming from behind the Apartheid Wall and the seething and starving prison camps for Palestinians under siege in Gaza and the West Bank”, writes Abe Hayeem of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine. On the other hand, Israel remains an extremist, right-wing, nationalistic and corrupt society which have rejected every step to live in peace and coexistence with its neighbours.
The ongoing massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians is not the first Jewish-perpetrated massacre and certainly won’t be the last. Israel follows a Nazi-like racist policy based on physical extermination and ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinian population.
Like Nazi Germany, Jewish Israel should be condemned, forced to renounce terrorism and end the occupation of Palestinian lands. The deliberate murder of innocent Palestinians is a classic act of Jewish State terrorism. There is no terrorism like the State of Israel terrorism. It remains to be seen if the world community needs a third world war to stop Jewish State terrorism.
Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.
© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com
Israel will not recognize an Israeli nationality while it seeks to maintain Jewishness at all costs
Israel is almost certainly the only country that deceives the global community every time one of its citizens crosses an international border. It does so because the passports it issues contain a fiction.
When a border official opens an Israeli passport for inspection, he or she sees the passport holder’s nationality stated as “Israeli.” And yet inside Israel, no state official, government agency or court recognizes the existence of an “Israeli” national.
This month the highest court in the land, Israel’s Supreme Court, explicitly affirmed that it could not uphold an Israeli nationality. Instead, the judges ruled, citizenship and nationality in Israel should be considered entirely separate categories, as they have been since Israel’s founding in 1948. All Israelis have Israeli citizenship, but none enjoys Israeli nationality.
This fiction of Israeli nationality, contained in Israeli passports and presented to the international community, is not simply a piece of legal eccentricity on Israel’s part. It is the keystone of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state – and much depends on it.
From this simple deception, Israel has been able to gerrymander its population by excluding Palestinian refugees from their land and homes while allowing millions of Jews to immigrate. And the same deception has served to veil a system of segregation in legal rights – a form of apartheid – between Israeli Jews and the country’s Palestinian minority, who comprise a fifth of the total population.
The need to maintain the state’s Jewishness at all costs, meanwhile, is emerging as the chief obstacle erected by Israel to prevent a peace agreement with the Palestinians from being reached.
So how does this Israeli magician’s trick work? Perversely, nationality in Israel is based not on a shared civic identity, as it is in most places, but on one’s ethnic identity. That means for the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens, their nationality falls into one of two categories – Jewish or Arab. That is why Israel must lie on its passports: no border official would allow in a person bearing a passport that declared simply that they were “Arab” or “Jewish.”
The peculiarity of this classification system is further underlined by its anomalies. What does Israel do with the small number of non-Jews who marry an Israeli and then choose to naturalize? The answer is that the state can select from more than 130 nationalities. ‘Misfits’– those who are neither Jewish nor Arab – are typically assigned the nationality they held before they naturalized, such as French, British, American, Georgian, Ukrainian, and so on.
A great deal is at stake in this arcane system, which is why since 1948 the Israeli Supreme Court has on three separate occasions ruled against groups of Israeli citizens who have demanded the right to be identified as Israeli nationals.
This month, faced with a petition from a group called “I am Israeli,” the judges argued that recognizing such a nationality would threaten the state’s foundational principles. In the words of Justice Hanan Melcer, uniting Israeli citizenship and nationality would run “against both the Jewish nature and the democratic nature of the state.”
Anita Shapira, a professor emeritus of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, concurred, saying that the petitioners were making a “revolutionary” demand.
However, Aeyal Gross, a Tel Aviv law professor, took a different view. The ruling, he wrote in the Haaretz newspaper, “will continue to obscure the possibility of having real democracy in Israel.”
So why the court’s aversion to an Israeli nationality? A clue is provided by the concept of citizenship in Israel. Another uncomfortable fact is that Israel has not one, but two citizenship laws: the famous Law of Return of 1950 gives every Jew in the world the right to come to Israel and instantly receive citizenship; the much less known Citizenship Law, passed two years later, confers citizenship, in very restricted circumstances, to non-Jews.
The primary purpose of the 1952 Citizenship Law was to give citizenship, belatedly and reluctantly, to the small proportion of Palestinians who managed to remain inside Israel in 1948 and their descendants. Today they are a substantial minority, and a growing one.
But as Israel has no immigration policy beyond the Law of Return, which applies only to worldwide Jewry, the 1952 law is also the only route by which a non-Jew can naturalize. In practice, that applies only to the tiny number of individuals who marry Israeli citizens each year and are prepared to enter a lengthy and usually antagonistic naturalization process. An additional law prevents most Palestinians outside Israel as well as Arab nationals from naturalizing, even following marriage to an Israeli.
The purpose of all this legal chicanery is to maintain Israel’s existence as a “Jewish state” – meaning the state of the Jewish people. It is, in other words, designed to perpetuate a system that has two main goals: ensuring a commanding Jewish majority inside Israel; and enforcing segregation in citizenship and legal rights based on ethnic belonging.
This segregation is possible because Israel, in addition to recognizing only ethnic nationalities, confers national rights on one national group alone – Jews. From that legal distinction flows much of the structural discrimination in Israel: Palestinians who try to claim equality, even in the courts, face a legal system in which their civic rights, as citizens, are always trumped by the exclusive, and superior, national rights enjoyed by the Jewish population.
Were the government or courts to decide that an Israeli nationality existed, all of that would come to an end. Recognition of an Israeli nationality, as government officials and the courts understand only too well, would entail equality between citizens – or a “state of all Israeli citizens,” a liberal democracy, as Israel’s Palestinian minority have been demanding at the ballot box for nearly two decades.
The reality is that a Jewish state requires structural segregation: in allocation of land, 93 per cent of which has been nationalized for the Jewish people, and resources like water; in residency, with Jews and Palestinian citizens living almost entirely apart; in education, where Jews and Palestinian citizens have separate and unequal schools; in employment, where vast swathes of the economy are defined as security-related, including the water, construction and telecommunications industries, and therefore open only to Jews.
But additionally and equally problematic, a Jewish state also privileges Jews who are not citizens, those living in Brooklyn or London, over Palestinians who actually hold citizenship. It does so through the bifurcation of citizenship and nationality.
Because from Israel’s point of view they are included in its definition of a Jewish national, Jews anywhere in the world – even those who have never stepped foot in Israel – can buy property from the state in much of the 93 per cent of territory that was nationalized, and much of it seized from Palestinian refugees. Palestinian citizens, on the other hand, are mostly restricted to living on the 3 per cent of the land they have so far kept out of the state’s grasp.
In short, Israel conceives of itself as not chiefly representing Israeli citizens, nor even of representing Israeli Jewish citizens but as representing Jews all around the world – those who have citizenship as well as those who have yet to take advantage of it by immigrating under the Law of Return.
What does this have to do with the peace process? As international pressure has mounted on Israel in the past few years to concede a Palestinian state, Israel has raised a new precondition for successful talks: the Palestinian leadership must recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Most observers have assumed that this relates to Israel’s desperate need to prevent millions of Palestinian refugees claiming a right of return. They are partly right, but for the wrong reasons.
The future of the refugees has long been part of the final-status issues to be decided in talks. Even most Palestinians doubt that the Palestinian National Authority will insist on more than a symbolic return of a few, mainly elderly, refugees to Israel. So raising this again, in terms of recognizing Israel’s Jewishness, is largely redundant.
Israel’s logic is slightly different. Israel needs the Palestinian leadership’s acceptance of its Jewishness as a way to subvert any future claims for equality from Israel’s Palestinian minority. Were the Palestinian minority able to gain equal citizenship – by ending Israel’s strange conception of nationality – then they could make demands to reverse the perverse realities entailed by Israel’s definition as a Jewish state.
Foremost would be the demand to end the special immigration privileges enjoyed by Jews. The Palestinian minority would insist on an equal immigration law, giving their exiled relatives the same rights to become Israeli citizens as Jews around the world currently enjoy. And that would mean a right of return by other means.
So in shutting the door on an Israeli nationality this month, Israel’s Supreme Court also played another role: pushing the hopes of a peace agreement that bit further out of sight.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel.
Haaretz reported today that there are more than 6,800 arms exporters working in Israel.
As of the end of 2012, there were “6,684 individuals dealing with security exports in 1,006 companies and 312 independent businesses. The Israeli Defence Export Controls Agency issued 1,900 marketing permits and 8,716 export permits.”
Apparently some 6,684 Israelis are making a living selling death around the world. They are serving an industry that produces more than 150,000 jobs. However, the most crucial question here is how did the Jewish State become a death factory? Early Zionism promised, indeed, to bring to the world a ‘new Jew’ – a productive, proletarian authentic human being driven by ethics and humanism. But, it didn’t take long for the Jewish State to reveal its real supremacist inclinations and plunderous pragmatism.
By now, Israel isn’t just a regional threat. It actually operates as a military industrial lab. On a daily basis it celebrates its destructive powers on the expense of Israel’s neighbours and the Palestinians, just in order to find new markets for its growing class of death merchants.